chapter  28
8 Pages

Secular Architecture

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

In the years since the middle Ages, the majority of medieval secular architecture has been destroyed and replaced, whereas the churches have been repaired and restored. There are, however, enough houses left to show how people lived in the Middle Ages and, at the same time, to demonstrate the stylistic connections between secular and religious architecture. In the middle Ages a series of houses belonging to canons of the chapter surrounded the cathedral at Chartres. In the Place de la Poissonnerie (fish market) at Chartres is the fifteenth-century House of Salmon. This house is typical of the fourteenth-and fifteenth-century town-house construction in northern France and northern Europe; it is constructed of interlocking timbers with the interstices filled with brick which, in turn, were covered with stucco. The top of the stair tower, with its ornate interlocking pinnacles, recalls Flamboyant towers such as the north spire of Chartres Cathedral.