Cathedral, Abbey, unusual…
Located a few kilometers from our guest house in Burgundy. They are the two major attractions of the city of Auxerre: the cathedral and the Saint-Germain Abbey. Two great witnesses of the Middle Ages, the rich heritage of the icaunaise prefecture. Initiated by Guillaume de Seignelay, Auxerre Cathedral celebrated its 800th anniversary last year. The construction of the abbey is older still. She began there more than 1,500 years, driven by St. Germain. Both listed as historical monuments, they are full of history and of known and unknown treasures.
St. Etienne Cathedral and the Saint-Germain abbey: the two great monuments of Auxerre identified in all the tourist guides. They tell the story, of construction as those of the men who carried their edification. But on their pediment, or after the gates, they are full of detail, small treasures visible to the naked eye.
The carved stalls of the canons in the choir of the church, graffiti on the walls of that choir, the small details on keystones, or the tomb of the celebrated Abbe Deschamps. It would take hours for visitors to discover the unusual details that hide in the walls of the building.
To name a few, the central chapel is worth seeing. Dedicated to Notre-Dame-des-Vertus, it has, in particular, to its right, an intriguing sculpture. At eye level, we see a small bird pecking grapes. There, between vineyards and grapes, it recalls the past, that even in the medieval eras, the town was marked by the wine business.
Noah’s ark and stained glass
Outside, on the north portal, is the Holy Door, the walker will discover sculptures recounting the whole creation of the world and especially the story of the Flood, with the animals and Noah’s ark.
Again, items that are worth a look are too numerous to provide an exhaustive list. But to mention only two, which traces the tympanum of St. Germain’s life, the knight to the bishop, located at the entrance to the abbey from the cloister, deserves attention. The scenes are overhanging canopy that can connect each civil or religious life, as if to remind that man had a life before the priesthood.
Finally the central chapel again in the crypt this time, presents this peculiarity to view the three construction techniques used in the Middle Ages, with the warhead, vaults of edges and cradle all visible at a single glance.
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