Paradoxplace South West France Photo and History Pages

Paradoxplace France Photo & History Pages

Links to French Cathedral and Abbey Photo Pages in Paradoxplace

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L'Église Notre Dame la Grande de Poitiers


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L'Église Notre Dame la Grande - Romanesque feast and famine - Outside of the wonderful facade (mid 1100s) and associated structures, the church is almost completely devoid of any Romanesque bits and pieces such as carved corbels, the only exception being a bit of stuff on the main tower.






The meta (as they say) story on the facade  is ....

Bottom Tier (the most interesting):  Jesus is announced by the prophets and born - some of these scenes are shown below.

Middle Tier:  The word of God is spread by the 12 apostles and 2 local saints - Hilary and Martin.

Top Tier:  Jesus,  surrounded by the symbols of the 4 evangelists, encased in an originally mandorla shaped frame, is glorified (see below).











Here are details of the bottom row from the left to right (in differing lights) .....





On the left of the facade - our old friends Adam and Eve


More Adam and Eves



An interesting comparison - A moustachioed God bids farewell to Adam and Eve in the 1100s Puerta de las Platerias (Goldsmiths' Portal) - the only Romanesque portal left in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.





Next is a new player in these pages - the Prophet King Nebuchadnezzar - accompanied by Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah and Moses





Next to the prophets are the Annunciation, Jessé (ancestor of David) and  his tree, and what was possibly David playing his harp (the start of an unsculpted restoration project?).





Annunciation detail





Spandrel bicaudal





Tier I A:  Not all the spectators have been there since the beginning, one suspects, but so what ?





The Visitation - Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth





whilst the archivolters get on with looking serious.




Finally, on right side of Tier I, Jesus is born and gets his first wash whilst Joseph looks on, and underneath peace and justice indulge in a cautious embrace (truly, but we wouldn't bet on this relationship lasting)





Detail above:  Mary rests with the infant Jesus being quietly nuzzled by animals in the manger.


Detail below:  A mature looking Jesus is given a bath by rolled up sleeve nurses (or is it a baptism?), whilst Joseph wonders what the future may bring and two unhappy men embrace.











Top Tier Mandorla:  Bottom left - the Lion of Mark, then clockwise the Angel of Matthew, the Eagle of John and the Calf of Luke.





Inside - a riot of decorator colour Romanesque - a (1800s ?) feature of many of the churches of west and south-west France, which are the subject of regular repaints so that the impact never fades.





The impressive old columns surrounding the altar / tempio / apse are also typical of many churches in south west France, and in this case they are thankfully not  painted.



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