coupole Architecture

    The trapezoid aspect of the floor plan is not an artefact of perspective: blueprint the North wall is shorter by about one metre than the southern one. Like many other Romanesque churches such as Notre Dame de Poitiers, the apse is slightly out of alignment. However there is not the least evidence to justify a symbolic evocation of '...the last agonised inflexion of the dying Christ’s head ' (cf: Invention de l'Architecture Romane, Ed. du Zodiaque).

tiers point

   The shape of the arches and vault, called 'pointed arch' ("tiers point") lies historically between the Romanesque barrel vault and the Gothic ribbed vault. The arch of the nave is constructed from two overlapping circles each with a radius equalling 2/3 of the span between the bases of the curved sides. This technique was retained for the construction of Cluny Abbey

Dessin de la nef   (Reactive area, scroll)

   The nave is supported by half-barrel vaults on each side, resting on thick outer walls supported by buttresses: two on the North side and one on the South. The buttresses are probably a later addition.
   Only five churches were built on this model : Brux, Sainte-Soline, Parthenay-le-Vieux, Sainte-Croix de Parthenay and Secondigny. (ref: 'Haut Poitou Roman', Ed du Zodiaque half-barrel vault

   The dry stones roof lay directly on a gravel ballast spread over the  extrados.
   Since 1936 the gravel has been replaced by pozzolane resting on reinforced cement, giving greater resistance to infiltration.

   These half vaults prop up only the nave. At the dome, they are replaced by barrel vaults over a few metres. Does this indicate an intention to suggest an otherwise non-existent transept, or is it the result of a later reorganization?

 For further information about French Romanesque art and architecture, link to:

                                                                                  Parole & Patrimoine


Right aisle, transition between half and full barrel vault -->

Semi-circular apse

Bay through the nave
and the right aisle

Cupola on squinches
Click to enlarge 800x600

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