Thursday, 5 June 2014

Albi Cathedral.


Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.



English: Basilica of Saint Cecilia, Albi, France.
Français: Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi.
Photo: 8 May 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: ByacC.
(Wikimedia Commons)



English: Vaulted Ceiling Bosses,
Basilica of Saint Cecilia, Albi, France.
Français: Voûtes sous le jubé de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi.
Photo: 7 June 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: GO69.
(Wikimedia Commons)


Albi Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia (French: Basilique Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi), is the most important religious building in Albi, Southern France, and the Seat of the Archbishop of Albi (in full, Albi-Castres-Lavaur). First built as a fortress, begun in 1287 and under construction for 200 years, it is claimed to be the largest brick building in the world. In 2010, the Cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The present Cathedral was preceded by other buildings. The first dated from the 4th-Century and, in 666 A.D., was destroyed by fire. The second is recorded in 920 A.D., by the name of Saint Cecilia, the present-day Patroness of Musicians. It was replaced in the 13th-Century by a Romanesque Cathedral in stone.



English: Nave of Albi Cathedral, France, and its Organ.
Français: Nef et orgue de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi,
dans le département du Tarn.
Photo: 25 June 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Benh LIEU SONG.
(Wikimedia Commons)



English: Above the Choir,
Basilica of Saint Cecilia,
Albi, France.
Français: Clôture du chœur
de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi.
Photo: 8 June 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: GO69.
(Wikimedia Commons)


The Brick Gothic Cathedral was constructed between 1287 to 1480, in the wake of the Albigensian heresy in the area. The government mounted a brutal Crusade to suppress the Cathar rebellion, with great loss of life to area residents. In the aftermath of the bloodshed, the Cathedral's dominant presence and fortress-like exterior were intended to convey the power and authority of the Christian Faith. The instigator of the Cathedral's construction was Bernard de Castanet, Bishop of Albi, and Inquisitor of Languedoc. Work on the Nave was completed about 1330.

The Cathedral is built in the Southern Gothic Style. As suitable building stone is not found locally, the structure is built almost entirely of brick. Notable architectural features include the Bell-Tower (added in 1492), which stands 78 metres (256 ft) tall, and the doorway, by Dominique de Florence (added circa 1392). The Nave is the widest Gothic example in France at 60 feet (18 m). The Interior lacks Aisles, which are replaced by rows of small Chapels between brick internal Buttresses, making Albi a Hall Church.



English: Choir and East Side of the Rood Screen of Sainte-Cécile Cathedral,
Albi, Midi-Pyrénées, France.
Français: Choeur et face Est du jubé de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi,
dans le département du Tarn.
Photo: 25 June 2009.
Source: Own work.
Author: Benh LIEU SONG.
(Wikimedia Commons)



English: Rood Screen and Ceiling
of Sainte-Cécile Cathedral,
Albi, Midi-Pyrénées, France.
Français: Vue d'ensemble de l'intérieur de la cathédrale,
pris sous le buffet d'orgues
(Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, Albi).
Photo: 2 July 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Pom².
(Wikimedia Commons)


Compared with regular Gothic, the Buttresses are almost entirely submerged in the mass of the Church. The principal entry is on the South Side, through an elaborate Porch entered by a fortified Stair, rather than through the West Front, as is traditional in France.

The Side Chapels, in the Nave, received overhead Galleries in the 15th-Century, diminishing their impact.



English: Exterior view of Albi Cathedral, France.
Français: Vue extérieur de la cathédrale Sainte-Cécile à Albi, France.
Photo: 10 May 2008.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)



English: The Vaulted Ceiling,
Albi Cathedral, France.
Français: Voûtes peintes de la cathédrale
(Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, Albi).
Photo: 2 July 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Pom².
(Wikimedia Commons)


The elaborate Interior stands in stark contrast to the Cathedral's military exterior. The central Chœur (Choir), reserved for Members of the Religious Order, is surrounded by a Rood Screen, with detailed filigree stone work, and a group of polychrome statues. Below the Organ, a fresco of the Last Judgement, attributed to unknown Flemish painters, originally covered nearly 200 m² (the central area was later removed). The frescoes, on the enormous Vaulted Ceiling, comprise the largest and oldest ensemble of Italian Renaissance painting in France.

The Cathedral Organ, the work of Christophe Moucherel, dates from the 18th-Century.



English: Nave and organ of the Cathedral of Albi in South of France.
Photo: 22 February 2014.
Source: Own work.
Author: PierreSelim.
(Wikimedia Commons)



English: Albi Cathedral,
South of France.
Français: Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi,
vue de la rive opposée du Tarn.
Photo: 6 August 2012.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)



Français: Jubé gothique vu depuis la nef.
Abside en arrière plan.
(Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile, Albi).
English: Gothic Rood Screen, view from the Nave.
Apse in the background.
Albi Cathedral, France.
Photo: 2 July 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: Pom².
(Wikimedia Commons)


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