Travel to France

Day 11 Bussy - Bourges - Issoire (489 Km.)

France


 

(in 268 Km.) Bourges: The Cathedral of Saint-Étienne de Bourges, considered one of the jewels of French Gothic art was built between the end of the twelfth and thirteenth century. Its unique design, its tympanum, sculptures and stained glass are particularly noteworthy. Admirable for its proportions and the unity of his conception, is a reliable testimony, that goes beyond its architectural beauty, of the strength of Christianity in medieval France.The precursor style of this cathedral was an exceptional example of Gothic architecture. Ignored for a long time is distinguished, however, from all the other cathedrals, with nothing to envy to the prestige enjoyed by the cathedrals of Reims, Chartres or Notre-Dame de Paris.

Bourges - Cathedral
Bourges - Cathedral of Saint-Étienne

This cathedral was added to the list of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in December 1992. During the evaluation test conducted to determine their eventual registration as a monument as a cultural asset, UNESCO commission showed that the cathedral of Bourges was a milestone of great importance in the development of Gothic architecture besides being a symbol of the power of the Christian religion in France during the Middle Ages. In addition to these fundamental qualities, stresses its breathtaking beauty due to masterful management of an area of ??harmonious proportions and decoration of the highest quality.

Bourges - Cathedral
Bourges - Cathedral of Saint-Étienne

The west facade is the widest of all Gothic buildings in France (over 40 m). With five double door portals that correspond exactly to the five naves, the sculptures are truly magnificent. The central portal carries sculpted scenes related to the Last Judgement. From the architectural point of view, Bourges greatly influenced the design of other European cathedrals: The Cathedrals of Notre-Dame de Paris (built before, but whose vault was performed after successful technical innovation was held in Bourges: the flying buttresses), Le Mans, Coutances or Toledo. These flying buttresses have an extraordinary inclination to save the huge gap between the height of the nave and the laterals. It calls attention the complicated astronomical clock designed in 1424 by astronomer Jean Fusoris and decorated by Jean Grangier.

Bourges - Cathedral
Bourges - Cathedral of Saint-Étienne

The huge set of stained glass illustrate the teaching of the Church: the lives of the saints and martyrs and the guilds. Most of them are from the thirteenth century. In the sixteenth century new windows were added, by the berruyer artist (gentile inhabitants of Bourges) Jean Lecuyer. The lateral chapels of the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries are decorated with stained glass subsidized by notable families of Bourges: Tullier, J. Cor, Montigny ... The crypt was built in the late twelfth century. It houses the statue in white marble, the Duke of Berry, who is the sole remnant of what was a grand mausoleum. It highlights the frieze of the gallery and of the Burial. Later have been discovered some interesting wall paintings dating from the fifteenth century.

(in 218 Km.) Issoire: We slept in this town in the Auvergne.


 

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