Notre-Dame at Mantes
The town of Mantes, dominated by the collegiate church of Notre-Dame, is situated thirty-two miles down the Seine from Paris, fifty miles above Rouen. In the twelfth century, Mantes served as a bastion of the Capetian defense against the Anglo-Normans, but by 1204 English pressures on this region had ceased with the conquest of Normandy by King Philip Augustus of France. According to Jean Bony in his detailed articles on Mantes, work started about 1170 with the construction of the two exterior northwest piers, the façade up to the level of the gallery, and the first five, western, piers on the south flank. Many changes have modified the twelfth-century character of Mantes. In the second half of the thirteenth century a sacristy with treasury above was added to the north, while a new central chapel grew off the ambulatory.