Soissons Cathedral
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Soissons Cathedral

Soissons Cathedral (French: Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais) is a Gothic basilica church in Soissons, France. It is the seat of the Bishop of Soissons, Laon, and Saint-Quentin. The construction of the south transept was begun about 1177, and the lowest courses of the choir in 1182.


The choir, with its original three-storey elevation and extremely tall clerestory, was completed in 1211. This was earlier than Chartres, on which the design was supposed to have been based. Work then continued into the nave until the late 13th century.[1]

The single western tower dates from the mid-13th century and is an imitation of those of Notre-Dame de Paris, which it equals in height (66 m, or 216 ft). The tower was restored after it and part of the nave were severely damaged in World War I. A matching tower on the other side of the façade was originally planned, but never built.


The graceful southern transept, the oldest portion of the whole edifice, terminates in an apse. Unlike the rest of the building, it is divided inside into four (rather than three) levels.

The choir end of the cathedral has stained glass from the 13th century. A tapestry from the 15th century depicts the life of the martyrs Gervasius and Protasius, the patron saints of the cathedral. Rubens' Adoration of the Shepherds hangs in the northern transept, as does a painting by Philippe de Champaigne.

Maurice Duruflé composed his work for organ "Fugue sur About this soundLe carillon des heures  de la Cathédrale de Soissons" op. 12 (1962)

Some of the stained glass windows from the Cathedrale de Soissons are on permanent exhibit at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland,[2] and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, MA.[3]

2017 Storm Damage

On January 12, 2017, during a winter storm, strong winds pushed in a significant portion of the west rose window.[4] Large stone pieces of the window's tracery and sections of stained glass fell onto the tracker-action pipe organ located below the rose window, causing severe damage to the instrument.[5][6]


See also


  1. ^ John James, The Template-makers of the Paris Basin, Leura, 1989.
  2. ^ Caviness, Madeline H. (1990). "Modular Assemblages: Reconstructing the Choir Clerestory Glazing of Soissons Cathedral". The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery. 48: 57-68. JSTOR 20169060.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-02. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Shimbun, The Yomiuri. "Winter storm wreaks havoc across Europe". The Japan News. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "La rosace de la cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons "éventrée" par la tempête". Le Huffington Post. Retrieved .
  6. ^ "Cathedral de Soissons".

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes