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BITONTO CATTEDRALE

DI SAN VALENTINO - NOVEMBER 2006

SOUTHERN FACADE

 

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Over  the first few hundred years of the life of the Cattedrale, the handsome arcades along the south front got walled up and converted into family chapels, accessible from the inside of the church.  A restoration in the early 1900s stripped out the chapels and restored the original appearance, except for the heavy fencing which was not necessary in the middle ages.

 

The south front provides a feast of imagery in capitals, roundels and corbels.  Some are obviously not as old as the pair below, but all are interesting. 

 

 

A classic Puglian Romanesque wagon wheel rose window ("rosone") in the south transept.  Typically the Puglian Norman Cathedrals had these windows in the West facade and at the South (and sometimes North) end of the transept.  The Puglian rose windows relied on intricate patterned stonework surrounds and screening for their effect, and were glazed with clear glass or alabaster - and sometimes (if screened) not glazed at all.  By contrast, in the great cathedrals of northern France such as Chartres, the focus was on  stained glass and more complex tracery, which allowed imagery and narrative within the window.

 

 

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