chapter  4
22 Pages

The Romanesque Church

WithWhitney S. Stoddard

The Romanesque Church is the church which is the key to the nature of Romanesque architecture. To the monastic church came the pilgrims to join the choir of monks in the liturgy of praise. Miraculous cures of the blind and of workmen injured during the construction of the Romanesque church intensified the pilgrimage to Conques. The Medieval builder apparently arrived at this solution by trial and error. Modern mathematics and engineering, unknown to the Medieval builder, have demonstrated that these transverse arches strengthen the structure tremendously. The exterior of Toulouse and the nave reveal the fact that the church was constructed largely of brick, the local building material. The construction of the present church commenced around 1080, when the abbey adopted the Rule of Augustine. Paray-le-Monial is a miniature version of the huge third church at Cluny. Most of the church, except for the nave vaults, was finished by the time of Abbot Hugh’s death in 1109.