Monday 3 October 2011

Saint Denis 1

First impressions of the west front of Saint Denis are somewhat disappointing; some of the stonework, particularly around the three doorways, appears to need some serious cleaning. Nevertheless the model for subsequent French gothic churches is here in the threefold division of the facade and the twin towers. Here the northwestern tower has been removed but one may yet see the origin of the west fronts of the later cathedrals of Chartres, Laon, Paris and Rheims. Above the facade the crenellations are indeed suggestive of a fortified city gate... " an awesome place... the house of God and the gate of heaven...."

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