chapter  11
8 Pages

The Cathedral of Noyon

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

Every Early Gothic cathedral possesses an individuality which makes it different, as a total architectural statement, from all others. Noyon is no exception. Located due west of Laon, Noyon lies just outside the twelfth-century boundaries of the royal domain and just over sixty miles north of Paris. Noyon is centered in the Oise River basin and is surrounded by rich agricultural land. The monarchy did not contain Noyon within its boundaries, but only twelve miles distant is the royal town of Compiegne. Saint Eloi was the patron saint of blacksmiths and goldsmiths. The presence of this important relic in Noyon was one of the chapter’s prime sources of revenue. Noyon’s single ambulatory, with its radiating chapels, is a more conservative plan when compared to the double ambulatory of the abbey of Saint-Denis and resembles the choir of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, dedicated in 1163.