Project Gutenberg's The Cathedrals of Southern France, by Francis Miltoun

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Title: The Cathedrals of Southern France

Author: Francis Miltoun

Illustrator: Blanche McManus

Release Date: February 8, 2011 [EBook #35212]

Language: English

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The Cathedral Series

The following, each 1 vol., library 12mo, cloth, gilt top profusely illustrated. $2.50

The Cathedrals of Northern France

The Cathedrals of Southern France

The Cathedrals of England

The following, each 1 vol., library 12mo, cloth, gilt top, profusely illustrated. Net, $2.00

The Cathedrals and Churches of the Rhine

The Cathedrals of Northern Spain

New England Building, Boston, Mass.




L. C. Page and Company

Copyright, 1904
By L. C. Page & Company
All rights reserved

Published August, 1904

Third Impression

Colonial Press
Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, Mass., U. S. A.


Introduction 11
Part I. Southern France in General
I.The Charm of Southern France23
II.The Church in Gaul34
III.The Church Architecture of Southern France50
Part II. South of the Loire
II.L'Abbaye de Maillezais81
III.St. Louis de la Rochelle82
IV.Cathédrale de Luçon85
V.St. Front de Périgueux87
VI.St. Pierre de Poitiers92
VII.St. Etienne de Limoges104
VIII.St. Odilon de St. Flour112
IX.St. Pierre de Saintes115
X.Cathédrale de Tulle118
XI.St. Pierre d'Angoulême120
XII.Notre Dame de Moulins126
XIII.Notre Dame de le Puy134
XIV.Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrand144
XV.St. Fulcran de Lodève152
Part III. The Rhone Valley
II.St. Etienne de Chalons-sur-Saône170
III.St. Vincent de Macon174
IV.St. Jean de Lyon177
V.St. Maurice de Vienne186
VI.St. Apollinaire de Valence190
VII.Cathédrale de Viviers195
VIII.Notre Dame d'Orange197
IX.St. Véran de Cavaillon200
X.Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon204
XI.St. Siffrein de Carpentras221
XII.Cathédrale de Vaison226
XIII.St. Trophime d'Arles228
XIV.St. Castor de Nîmes236
XV.St. Théodorit d'Uzès245
XVI.St. Jean d'Alais249
XVII.St. Pierre d'Annecy252
XVIII.Cathédrale de Chambéry255
XIX.Notre Dame de Grenoble258
XX.Belley and Aoste267
XXI.St. Jean de Maurienne269
XXII.St. Pierre de St. Claude272
XXIII.Notre Dame de Bourg277
XXIV.Glandève, Senez, Riez, Sisteron280
XXV.St. Jerome de Digne283
XXVI.Notre Dame de Die287
XXVII.Notre Dame et St. Castor d'Apt289
XXVIII.Notre Dame d'Embrun292
XXIX.Notre Dame de l'Assomption de Gap296
XXX.Notre Dame de Vence300
XXXI.Cathédrale de Sion302
XXII.St. Paul Troix Château305
Part IV. The Mediterranean Coast
II.St. Sauveur d'Aix323
III.St. Reparata de Nice328
IV.Ste. Marie Majeure de Toulon332
V.St. Etienne de Fréjus335
VI.Église de Grasse339
VIII.Ste. Marie Majeure de Marseilles342
IX.St. Pierre d'Alet350
X.St. Pierre de Montpellier352
XI.Cathédrale d'Agde358
XII.St. Nazaire de Béziers363
XIII.St. Jean de Perpignan368
XIV.Ste. Eulalia d'Elne372
XV.St. Just de Narbonne375
Part V. the Valley of the Garonne
II.St. André de Bordeaux396
III.Cathédrale de Lectoure402
IV.Notre Dame de Bayonne405
V.St. Jean de Bazas411
VI.Notre Dame de Lescar413
VII.L'Eglise de la Sède: Tarbes417
VIII.Cathédrale de Condom420
IX.Cathédrale de Montauban422
X.St. Etienne de Cahors425
XI.St. Caprias d'Agen429
XII.Ste. Marie d'Auch432
XIII.St. Etienne de Toulouse439
XIV.St. Nazaire de Carcassone449
XV.Cathédrale de Pamiers461
XVI.St. Bertrand de Comminges464
XVII.St. Jean-Baptiste d'Aire469
XVIII.Sts. Benoit et Vincent de Castres471
XIX.Notre Dame de Rodez474
XX.Ste. Cécile d'Albi482
XXI.St. Pierre de Mende490
XXII.Other Old-Time Cathedrals in and about the Basin of the Garonne    495

I.Sketch Map Showing the Usual Geographical Divisions of France503
II.A Historical Table of the Dioceses of the
South of France up to the beginning of
the nineteenth century
III.The Classification of Architectural Styles in
France according to De Caumont's "Abécédaire
d'Architecture Religieuse"
IV.A Chronology of Architectural Styles in France511
V.Leading Forms of Early Cathedral Constructions513
VI.The Disposition of the Parts of a Tenth-Century Church as defined by Violet-le-Duc    514
VII.A Brief Definitive Gazetteer of the Natural
and Geological Divisions Included in the
Ancient Provinces and Present-Day Departments
of Southern France, together
with the local names by which the pays et
are commonly known
VIII.Sketch Map of the Bishoprics and Archbishoprics
of the South of France at the Present Day
IX.Dimensions and Chronology520


St. André de BordeauxFrontispiece
The Concordat (From Napoleon's Tomb)43
St. Louis de La Rochelle82
Cathédrale de Luçon85
St. Front de Périgueux87
Detail of the Interior of St. Front de Périgueux90
St. Etienne de Limoges105
Reliquary of Thomas à Becket111
Cathédrale de Tullefacing118
St. Pierre d'Angoulêmefacing120
Notre Dame de Moulinsfacing126
Notre Dame de Le Puyfacing134
Le Puy138
The Black Virgin, Le Puy143
Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrandfacing144
St. Vincent de Maconfacing174
St. Jean de Lyonfacing176
St. Apollinaire de Valence190
St. Véran de Cavaillon200
Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon205
Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignonfacing218
St. Trophime d'Arles228
St. Trophime d'Arlesfacing228
Cloisters, St. Trophime d'Arles233
St. Castor de Nîmes236
St. Castor de Nîmes237
St. Théodorit d'Uzès245
Cathédrale de Chambéry255
Notre Dame de Grenoble258
St. Bruno261
St. Jean de Maurienne269
St. Pierre de St. Claudefacing272
Notre Dame de Bourg275
Notre Dame de Sisteronfacing280
St. Jerome de Digne283
Notre Dame d'Embrun292
The Ramparts of Aigues-Mortes320
St. Sauveur d'Aix321
Detail of Doorway of the Archbishop's Palace, Fréjus338
Eglise de Grasse339
The Old Cathedral, Marseilles345
St. Pierre de Montpellierfacing352
Cathédrale d'Agde358
St. Nazaire de Béziers361
St. Jean de Perpignan368
Ste. Eulalia d'Elne372
St. Just de Narbonnefacing374
Cloister of St. Just de Narbonnefacing378
Notre Dame de Bayonnefacing404
Eglise de la Sède, Tarbes417
St. Etienne de Cahorsfacing424
Ste. Marie d'Auchfacing432
St. Etienne de Toulousefacing438
Nave of St. Etienne de Toulouse445
St. Nazaire de Carcassonnefacing448
The Old Cité de Carcassonne before and after the Restoration451
Two Capitals of Pillars in St. Nazaire de Carcassonne;
     and the Rude Stone Carving of Carcas454
St. Nazaire de Carcassonnefacing454
Cathédrale de Pamiers461
St. Bertrand de Commingesfacing464
St. Jean-Baptiste d'Aire469
Sts. Benoit et Vincent de Castresfacing470
Notre Dame de Rodezfacing474
Choir-Stalls, Rodez480
Ste. Cécile d'Albifacing482
St. Pierre de Mendefacing490
Sketch Map of France503
Leading Forms of Early Cathedral Constructions513
Plan of a Tenth Century Church514
Sketch Map of the Bishoprics and Archbishoprics of the
     South of France at the Present Day519
St. Caprias d'Agen (diagram)520
Baptistery of St. Sauveur d'Aix (diagram)521
Ste. Cécile d'Albi (diagram)522
St. Pierre d'Angoulême (diagram)523
St. Trophime d'Arles (diagram)524
Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon (diagram)525
St. Etienne de Cahors (diagram)527
St. Veran de Cavaillon (diagram)528
Cathédrale de Chambéry (diagram)529
Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrand (diagram)530
St. Bertrand de Comminges (diagram)530
Notre Dame de Le Puy (diagram)532
St. Etienne de Limoges (diagram)532
St. Jean de Lyon (diagram)533
St. Just de Narbonne (diagram)535
Notre Dame d'Orange (diagram)536
St. Front de Périgueux (diagram)537
St. Jean de Perpignan (diagram)537
St. Pierre de Poitiers (diagrams)538
Notre Dame de Rodez (diagram)539
St. Etienne de Toulouse (diagram)541
St. Paul Trois Châteaux (diagram)542
Cathédrale de Vaison (diagram)543

The Cathedrals
of Southern France


TOO often—it is a half-acknowledged delusion, however—one meets with what appears to be a theory: that a book of travel must necessarily be a series of dull, discursive, and entirely uncorroborated opinions of one who may not be even an intelligent observer. This is mere intellectual pretence. Even a humble author—so long as he be an honest one—may well be allowed to claim with Mr. Howells the right to be serious, or the reverse, "with his material as he finds it;" and that "something personally experienced can only be realized on the spot where it was lived." This, says he, is "the prime use of travel, and the attempt to create the reader a partner in the enterprise" ... must be the excuse, then, for putting one's observations on paper.

He rightly says, too, that nothing of perilous adventure is to-day any more like to happen "in Florence than in Fitchburg."

A "literary tour," a "cathedral tour," or an "architectural tour," requires a formula wherein the author must be wary of making questionable estimates; but he may, with regard to generalities,—or details, for that matter,—state his opinion plainly; but he should state also his reasons. With respect to church architecture no average reader, any more than the average observer, willingly enters the arena of intellectual combat, but rather is satisfied—as he should be, unless he is a Freeman, a Gonse, or a Corroyer—with an ampler radius which shall command even a juster, though no less truthful, view.

Not from one book or from ten, in one year or a score can this be had. The field is vast and the immensity of it all only dawns upon one the deeper he gets into his subject. A dictionary of architecture, a compendium or gazetteer of geography, or even the unwieldy mass of fact tightly held in the fastnesses of the Encyclopædia Britannica will not tell one—in either a long or a short while—all the facts concerning the cathedrals of France.

Some will consider that in this book are made many apparently trifling assertions; but it is claimed that they are pertinent and again are expressive of an emotion which mayhap always arises of the same mood.

Notre Dame at Rodez is a "warm, mouse-coloured cathedral;" St. Cécile d'Albi is at once "a fortress and a church," and the once royal city of Aigues-Mortes is to-day but "a shelter for a few hundred pallid, shaking mortals."

Such expressions are figurative, but, so far as words can put it, they are the concentrated result of observation.

These observations do not aspire to be considered "improving," though it is asserted that they are informative.

Description of all kinds is an art which requires considerable forethought in order to be even readable. And of all subjects, art and architecture are perhaps the most difficult to treat in a manner which shall not arouse an intolerant criticism.

Perhaps some credit will be attained for the attempts herein made to present in a pleasing manner many of the charms of the ecclesiastical architecture of southern France, where a more elaborate and erudite work would fail of its object. As Lady Montagu has said in her "Letters,"—"We travellers are in very hard circumstances. If we say nothing new, we are dull, and have observed nothing. If we tell any new thing, we are laughed at as fabulous and romantic."

This book is intended as a contribution to travel literature—or, if the reader like, to that special class of book which appeals largely to the traveller.

Most lovers of art and literature are lovers of churches; indeed, the world is yearly containing more and more of this class. The art expression of a people, of France in particular, has most often first found its outlet in church-building and decoration. Some other countries have degenerated sadly from the idea.

In recent times the Anglo-Saxon has mostly built his churches,—on what he is pleased to think are "improved lines,"—that, more than anything else, resemble, in their interiors, playhouses, and in their exteriors, cotton factories and breweries.

This seemingly bitter view is advanced simply because the writer believes that it is the church-members, using the term in its broad sense, who are responsible for the many outrageously unseemly church-buildings which are yearly being erected; not the architects—who have failings enough of their own to answer for.

It is said that a certain great architect of recent times was responsible for more bad architecture than any man who had lived before or since. Not because he produced such himself, but because his feeble imitators, without his knowledge, his training, or his ambition, not only sought to follow in his footsteps, but remained a long way in the rear, and stumbled by the way.

This man built churches. He built one, Trinity Church, in Boston, U. S. A., which will remain, as long as its stones endure, an entirely successful transplantation of an exotic from another land. In London a new Roman Catholic cathedral has recently been erected after the Byzantine manner, and so unexpectedly successful was it in plan and execution that its author was "medalled" by the Royal Academy; whatever that dubious honour may be worth.

Both these great men are dead, and aside from these two great examples, and possibly the Roman Catholic cathedral, and the yet unachieved cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City, where, in an English-speaking land, has there been built, in recent times, a religious edifice of the first rank worthy to be classed with these two old-world and new-world examples?

They do these things better in France: Viollet-le-Duc completed St. Ouen at Rouen and the cathedral at Clermont-Ferrand, in most acceptable manner. So, too, was the treatment of the cathedral at Moulins-sur-Allier—although none of these examples are among the noblest or the most magnificent in France. They have, however, been completed successfully, and in the true spirit of the original.

To know the shops and boulevards of Paris does not necessarily presume a knowledge of France. This point is mentioned here from the fact that many have claimed a familiarity with the cathedrals of France; when to all practical purposes, they might as well have begun and ended with the observation that Notre Dame de Paris stands on an island in the middle of the Seine.

The author would not carp at the critics of the first volume of this series, which appeared last season. Far from it. They were, almost without exception, most generous. At least they granted, unqualifiedly, the reason for being for the volume which was put forth bearing the title: "Cathedrals of Northern France."

The seeming magnitude of the undertaking first came upon the author and artist while preparing the first volume for the press. This was made the more apparent when, on a certain occasion, just previous to the appearance of the book, the author made mention thereof to a friend who did know Paris—better perhaps than most English or American writers; at least he ought to have known it better.

When this friend heard of the inception of this book on French cathedrals, he marvelled at the fact that there should be a demand for such; said that the subject had already been overdone; and much more of the same sort; and that only yesterday a certain Miss—— had sent him an "author's copy" of a book which recounted the results of a journey which she and her mother had recently made in what she sentimentally called "Romantic Touraine."

Therein were treated at least a good half-dozen cathedrals; which, supplementing the always useful Baedeker or Joanne, and a handbook of Notre Dame at Paris and another of Rouen, covered—thought the author's friend at least—quite a representative share of the cathedrals of France.

This only substantiates the contention made in the foreword to the first volume: that there were doubtless many with a true appreciation and love for great churches who would be glad to know more of them, and have the ways—if not the means—smoothed in order to make a visit thereto the more simplified and agreeable. Too often—the preface continued—the tourist, alone or personally conducted in droves, was whirled rapidly onward by express-train to some more popularly or fashionably famous spot, where, for a previously stipulated sum, he might partake of a more lurid series of amusements than a mere dull round of churches.

"Cities, like individuals, have," says Arthur Symons, "a personality and individuality quite like human beings."

This is undoubtedly true of churches as well, and the sympathetic observer—the enthusiastic lover of churches for their peculiarities, none the less than their general excellencies—is the only person who will derive the maximum amount of pleasure and profit from an intimacy therewith.

Whether a great church is interesting because of its antiquity, its history, or its artistic beauties matters little to the enthusiast. He will drink his fill of what offers. Occasionally, he will find a combination of two—or possibly all—of these ingredients; when his joy will be great.

Herein are catalogued as many of the attributes of the cathedrals of the south of France—and the records of religious or civil life which have surrounded them in the past—as space and opportunity for observation have permitted.

More the most sanguine and capable of authors could not promise, and while in no sense does the volume presume to supply exhaustive information, it is claimed that all of the churches included within the classification of cathedrals—those of the present and those of a past day—are to be found mentioned herein, the chief facts of their history recorded, and their notable features catalogued.


Southern France in General



The charm of southern France is such as to compel most writers thereon to become discursive. It could not well be otherwise. Many things go to make up pictures of travel, which the most polished writer could not ignore unless he confined himself to narrative pure and simple; as did Sterne.

One who seeks knowledge of the architecture of southern France should perforce know something of the life of town and country in addition to a specific knowledge of, or an immeasurable enthusiasm for, the subject.

Few have given Robert Louis Stevenson any great preëminence as a writer of topographical description; perhaps not all have admitted his ability as an unassailable critic; but the fact is, there is no writer to whom the lover of France can turn with more pleasure and profit than Stevenson.

There is a wealth of description of the country-side of France in the account of his romantic travels on donkey-back, or, as he whimsically puts it, "beside a donkey," and his venturesome though not dangerous "Inland Voyage." These early volumes of Stevenson, while doubtless well known to lovers of his works, are closed books to most casual travellers. The author and artist of this book here humbly acknowledge an indebtedness which might not otherwise be possible to repay.

Stevenson was devout, he wrote sympathetically of churches, of cathedrals, of monasteries, and of religion. What his predilections were as to creed is not so certain. Sterne was more worldly, but he wrote equally attractive prose concerning many things which English-speaking people have come to know more of since his time. Arthur Young, "an agriculturist," as he has been rather contemptuously called, a century or more ago wrote of rural France after a manner, and with a profuseness, which few have since equalled. His creed, likewise, appears to be unknown; in that, seldom, if ever, did he mention churches, and not at any time did he discuss religion.

In a later day Miss M. E. B. Edwards, an English lady who knows France as few of her countrywomen do, wrote of many things more or less allied with religion, which the ordinary "travel books" ignored—much to their loss—altogether.

Still more recently another English lady, Madam Marie Duclaux,—though her name would not appear to indicate her nationality,—has written a most charming series of observations on her adopted land; wherein the peasant, his religion, and his aims in life are dealt with more understandingly than were perhaps possible, had the author not been possessed of a long residence among them.

Henry James, of all latter-day writers, has given us perhaps the most illuminating accounts of the architectural joy of great churches, châteaux and cathedrals. Certainly his work is marvellously appreciative, and his "Little Tour in France," with the two books of Stevenson before mentioned, Sterne's "Sentimental Journey,"—and Mr. Tristram Shandy, too, if the reader likes,—form a quintette of voices which will tell more of the glories of France and her peoples than any other five books in the English language.

When considering the literature of place, one must not overlook the fair land of Provence or the "Midi of France"—that little-known land lying immediately to the westward of Marseilles, which is seldom or never even tasted by the hungry tourist.

To know what he would of these two delightful regions one should read Thomas Janvier, Félix Gras, and Mêrimêe. He will then have far more of an insight into the places and the peoples than if he perused whole shelves of histories, geographies, or technical works on archæology and fossil remains.

If he can supplement all this with travel, or, better yet, take them hand-in-hand, he will be all the more fortunate.

At all events here is a vast subject for the sated traveller to grasp, and en passant he will absorb not a little of the spirit of other days and of past history, and something of the attitude of reverence for church architecture which is apparently born in every Frenchman,—at least to a far greater degree than in any other nationality,—whatever may be his present-day attitude of mind toward the subject of religion in the abstract.

France, be it remembered, is not to-day as it was a century and a half ago, when it was the fashion of English writers to condemn and revile it as a nation of degraded serfs, a degenerate aristocracy, a corrupt clergy, or as an enfeebled monarchy.

Since then there has arisen a Napoleon, who, whatever his faulty morals may have been, undoubtedly welded into a united whole those widely divergent tendencies and sentiments of the past, which otherwise would not have survived. This was prophetic and far-seeing, no matter what the average historian may say to the contrary; and it has in no small way worked itself toward an ideal successfully, if not always by the most practical and direct path.

One thing is certain, the lover of churches will make the round of the southern cathedrals under considerably more novel and entrancing conditions than in those cities of the north or mid-France. Many of the places which shelter a great cathedral church in the south are of little rank as centres of population; as, for instance, at Mende in Lozère, where one suddenly finds oneself set down in the midst of a green basin surrounded by mountains on all sides, with little to distract his attention from its remarkably picturesque cathedral; or at Albi, where a Sunday-like stillness always seems to reign, and its fortress-church, which seems to regulate the very life of the town, stands, as it has since its foundation, a majestic guardian of well-being.

There is but one uncomfortable feature to guard against, and that is the mistral, a wind which blows down the Rhône valley at certain seasons of the year, and, in the words of the habitant, "blows all before it." It is not really as bad as this, but its breath is uncomfortably cold, and it does require a firm purpose to stand against its blast.

Then, too, from October until March, south of Lyons, the nights, which draw in so early at this season of the year, are contrastingly and uncomfortably cold, as compared with the days, which seem always to be blessed with bright and sunshiny weather.

It may be argued that this is not the season which appeals to most people as being suitable for travelling. But why not? Certainly it is the fashion to travel toward the Mediterranean during the winter months, and the attractions, not omitting the allurements of dress clothes, gambling-houses, and bals masqués are surely not more appealing than the chain of cities which extend from Chambéry and Grenoble in the Alps, through Orange, Nîmes, Arles, Perpignan, Carcassonne, and the slopes of the Pyrenees, to Bayonne.

In the departments of Lozère, Puy de Dôme, Gard and Auvergne and Dordogne, the true, unspoiled Gallic flavour abides in all its intensity. As Touraine, or at least Tours, claims to speak the purest French tongue, so this region of streams and mountains, of volcanic remains, of Protestantism, and of an—as yet—unspoiled old-worldliness, possesses more than any other somewhat of the old-time social independence and disregard of latter-day innovations.

Particularly is this so—though perhaps it has been remarked before—in that territory which lies between Clermont-Ferrand and Valence in one direction, and Vienne and Rodez in another, to extend its confines to extreme limits.

Here life goes on gaily and in animated fashion, in a hundred dignified and picturesque old towns, and the wise traveller will go a-hunting after those which the guide-books complain of—not without a sneer—as being dull and desultory. French, and for that matter the new régime of English, historical novelists are too obstinately bent on the study of Paris, "At all events," says Edmund Gosse, "since the days of Balzac and George Sand, and have neglected the provincial boroughs."

They should study mid-France on the spot; and read Stevenson and Mérimée while they are doing it. It will save them a deal of worrying out of things—with possibly wrong deductions—for themselves.

The climatic conditions of France vary greatly. From the gray, wind-blown shores of Brittany, where for quite three months of the autumn one is in a perpetual drizzle, and the equally chilly and bare country of the Pas de Calais, and the more or less sodden French Flanders, to the brisk, sunny climate of the Loire valley, the Cevennes, Dauphiné, and Savoie, is a wide range of contrast. Each is possessed of its own peculiar characteristics, which the habitant alone seems to understand in all its vagaries. At all events, there is no part of France which actually merits the opprobrious deprecations which are occasionally launched forth by the residents of the "garden spot of England," who see no topographical beauties save in their own wealds and downs.

France is distinctly a self-contained land. Its tillers of the soil, be they mere agriculturists or workers in the vineyards, are of a race as devoted and capable at their avocations as any alive.

They do not, to be sure, eat meat three times a day—and often not once a week—but they thrive and gain strength on what many an English-speaking labourer would consider but a mere snack.

Again, the French peasant is not, like the English labourer, perpetually reminded, by the independence of the wealth surrounding him, of his own privations and dependence. On the contrary, he enjoys contentment with a consciousness that no human intervention embitters his condition, and that its limits are only fixed by the bounds of nature, and somewhat by his own industry.

Thus it is easy to inculcate in such a people somewhat more of that spirit of "l'amour de la patrie," or love of the land, which in England, at the present time, appears to be growing beautifully less.

So, too, with love and honour for their famous citizens, the French are enthusiastic, beyond any other peoples, for their monuments, their institutions, and above all for their own province and department.

With regard to their architectural monuments, still more are they proud and well-informed, even the labouring classes. Seldom, if ever, has the writer made an inquiry but what it was answered with interest, if not with a superlative intelligence, and the Frenchman of the lower classes—be he a labourer of the towns or cities, or a peasant of the country-side—is a remarkably obliging person.

In what may strictly be called the south of France, that region bordering along the Mediterranean, Provence, and the southerly portion of Languedoc, one is manifestly environed with a mellowness and brilliance of sky and atmosphere only to be noted in a sub-tropical land, a feature which finds further expression in most of the attributes of local life.

The climate and topographical features take on a contrastingly different aspect, as does the church architecture and the mode of life of the inhabitants here in the southland.

Here is the true romance country of all the world. Here the Provençal tongue and its literature have preserved that which is fast fleeting from us in these days when a nation's greatest struggle is for commercial or political supremacy. It was different in the days of Petrarch and of Rabelais.

But there are reminders of this glorious past yet to be seen, more tangible than a memory alone, and more satisfying than mere written history.

At Orange, Nîmes, and Arles are Roman remains of theatres, arenas, and temples, often perfectly preserved, and as magnificent as in Rome itself.

At Avignon is a splendid papal palace, to which the Holy See was transferred by Clement V. at the time of the Italian partition, in the early fourteenth century, while Laura's tomb, or the site of it, is also close at hand.

At Clermont-Ferrand, in Auvergne, Pope Urban, whose monument is on the spot, urged and instigated the Crusades.

The Christian activities of this land were as strenuous as any, and their remains are even more numerous and interesting. Southern Gaul, however, became modernized but slowly, and the influences of the Christian spirit were not perhaps as rapid as in the north, where Roman sway was more speedily annulled. Still, not even in the churches of Lombardy or Tuscany are there more strong evidences of the inception and growth of this great power, which sought at one time to rule the world, and may yet.



Guizot's notable dictum, "If you are fond of romance and history," may well be paraphrased in this wise: "If you are fond of history, read the life histories of great churches."

Leaving dogmatic theory aside, much, if not quite all, of the life of the times in France—up to the end of the sixteenth century—centred more or less upon the Church, using the word in its fullest sense. Aside from its religious significance, the influence of the Church, as is well known and recognized by all, was variously political, social, and perhaps economic.

So crowded and varied were the events of Church history in Gaul, it would be impossible to include even the most important of them in a brief chronological arrangement which should form a part of a book such as this.

It is imperative, however, that such as are mentioned should be brought together in some consecutive manner in a way that should indicate the mighty ebb and flow of religious events of Church and State.

These passed rapidly and consecutively throughout Southern Gaul, which became a part of the kingdom of the French but slowly.

Many bishoprics have been suppressed or merged into others, and again united with these sees from which they had been separated. Whatever may be the influences of the Church, monastic establishments, or more particularly, the bishops and their clergy, to-day, there is no question but that from the evangelization of Gaul to the end of the nineteenth century, the parts played by them were factors as great as any other in coagulating and welding together the kingdom of France.

The very large number of bishops which France has had approximates eight thousand eminent and virtuous names; and it is to the memory of their works in a practical way, none the less than their devotion to preaching the Word itself, that the large number of magnificent ecclesiastical monuments have been left as their heritage.

There is a large share of veneration and respect due these pioneers of Christianity; far more, perhaps, than obtains for those of any other land. Here their activities were so very great, their woes and troubles so very oppressive, and their final achievement so splendid, that the record is one which stands alone.

It is a glorious fact—in spite of certain lapses and influx of fanaticism—that France has ever recognized the sterling worth to the nation of the devotion and wise counsel of her churchmen; from the indefatigable apostles of Gaul to her cardinals, wise and powerful in councils of state.

The evangelization of Gaul was not an easy or a speedy process. On the authority of Abbé Morin of Moulins, who, in La France Pontificale, has undertaken to "chronologize all the bishops and archbishops of France from the first century to our day," Christianity came first to Aix and Marseilles with Lazare de Béthanie in 35 or 36 A. D.; followed shortly after by Lin de Besançon, Clement de Metz, Demêtre de Gap, and Ruf d'Avignon.

Toward the end of the reign of Claudian, and the commencement of that of Nero (54-55 A. D.), there arrived in Gaul the seven Apostle-bishops, the founders of the Church at Arles (St. Trophime), Narbonne (St. Paul), Limoges (St. Martial), Clermont (St. Austremoine), Tours (St. Gatien), Toulouse (St. Saturnin), and Trèves (St. Valère).

It was some years later that Paris received within its walls St. Denis, its first Apostle of Christianity, its first bishop, and its first martyr.

Others as famous were Taurin d'Evreux, Lucien de Beauvais, Eutrope de Saintes, Aventin de Chartres, Nicaise de Rouen, Sixte de Reims, Savinien de Sens, and St. Crescent—the disciple of St. Paul—of Vienne.

From these early labours, through the three centuries following, and down through fifteen hundred years, have passed many traditions of these early fathers which are well-nigh legendary and fabulous.

The Abbé Morin says further: "We have not, it is true, an entirely complete chronology of the bishops who governed the Church in Gaul, but the names of the great and noble army of bishops and clergy, who for eighteen hundred years have succeeded closely one upon another, are assuredly the most beautiful jewels in the crown of France. Their virtues were many and great,—eloquence, love of la patrie, indomitable courage in time of trial, mastery of difficult situation, prudence, energy, patience, and charity." All these grand virtues were practised incessantly, with some regrettable eclipses, attributable not only to misfortune, but occasionally to fault. A churchman even is but human.

With the accession of the third dynasty of kings,—the Capetians, in 987,—the history of the French really began, and that of the Franks, with their Germanic tendencies and elements, became absorbed by those of the Romanic language and character, with the attendant habits and customs.

Only the Aquitanians, south of the Loire, and the Burgundians on the Rhône, still preserved their distinct nationalities.

The feudal ties which bound Aquitaine to France were indeed so slight that, when Hugh Capet, in 990, asked of Count Adelbert of Périgueux, before the walls of the besieged city of Tours: "Who made thee count?" he was met with the prompt and significant rejoinder, "Who made thee king?"

At the close of the tenth century, France was ruled by close upon sixty princes, virtually independent, and yet a still greater number of prelates,—as powerful as any feudal lord,—who considered Hugh Capet of Paris only as one who was first among his peers. Yet he was able to extend his territory to such a degree that his hereditary dynasty ultimately assured the unification of the French nation. Less than a century later Duke William of Normandy conquered England (1066); when began that protracted struggle between France and England which lasted for three hundred years.

Immediately after the return of the pious Louis VII. from his disastrous crusade, his queen, Eleanor, the heiress of Poitou and Guienne, married the young count Henry Plantagenet of Maine and Anjou; who, when he came to the English throne in 1153, "inherited and acquired by marriage"—as historians subtly put it—" the better half of all France."

Until 1322 the Church in France was divided into the following dioceses:

The stormy days of the reign of Charles V. (late fourteenth century) throughout France were no less stringent in Languedoc than elsewhere.

Here the people rose against the asserted domination of the Duke of Anjou, who, "proud and greedy," was for both qualities abhorred by the Languedocians.

He sought to restrain civic liberty with a permanent military force, and at Nîmes levied heavy taxes, which were promptly resented by rebellion. At Montpellier the people no less actively protested, and slew the chancellor and seneschal.

By the end of the thirteenth century, social, political, and ecclesiastical changes had wrought a wonderful magic with the map of France. John Lackland (sans terre) had been compelled by Philippe-Auguste to relinquish his feudal possessions in France, with the exception of Guienne. At this time also the internal crusades against the Waldenses and Albigenses in southern France had powerfully extended the royal flag. Again, history tells us that it was from the impulse and after influences of the crusading armies to the East that France was welded, under Philippe-le-Bel, into a united whole. The shifting fortunes of France under English rule were, however, such as to put little stop to the progress of church-building in the provinces; though it is to be feared that matters in that line, as most others of the time, went rather by favour than by right of sword.

Territorial changes brought about, in due course, modified plans of the ecclesiastical control and government, which in the first years of the fourteenth century caused certain administrative regulations to be put into effect by Pope John XXII. (who lies buried beneath a gorgeous Gothic monument at Avignon) regarding the Church in the southern provinces.

So well planned were these details that the Church remained practically under the same administrative laws until the Revolution.

Albi was separated from Bourges (1317), and raised to the rank of a metropolitan see; to which were added as suffragans Cahors, Rodez, and Mende, with the newly founded bishoprics of Castres and Vabres added. Toulouse was formed into an archbishopric in 1327; while St. Pons and Alet, as newly founded bishoprics, were given to the ancient see of Narbonne in indemnification for its having been robbed of Toulouse. The ancient diocese of Poitiers was divided into three, and that of Agen into two by the erection of suffragans at Maillezais, Luçon, Sarlat, and Condom. By a later papal bull, issued shortly after their establishment, these bishoprics appear to have been abolished, as no record shows that they entered into the general scheme of the revolutionary suppression.

On August 4, 1790, all chapters of cathedral churches, other than those of the metropoles (the mother sees), their bishops, and in turn their respective curés, were suppressed. This ruling applied as well to all collegiate churches, secular bodies, and abbeys and priories generally.

Many were, of course, reëstablished at a subsequent time, or, at least, were permitted to resume their beneficent work. But it was this general suppression, in the latter years of the eighteenth century, which led up to the general reapportioning of dioceses in that composition of Church and State thereafter known as the Concordat.

The Concordat (From Napoleon's Tomb) The Concordat (From Napoleon's Tomb)

Many causes deflected the growth of the Church from its natural progressive pathway. The Protestant fury went nearly to fanaticism, as did the equally fervent attempts to suppress it. The "Temples of Reason" of the Terrorists were of short endurance, but they indicated an unrest that has only in a measure moderated, if one is to take later political events as an indication of anything more than a mere uncontrolled emotion.

Whether a great future awaits Protestantism in France, or not, the power of the Roman Church is undoubtedly waning, in attracting congregations, at least.

Should a Wesley or a Whitfield arise, he might gain followers, as strong men do, and they would draw unto them others, until congregations might abound. But the faith could hardly become the avowed religion of or for the French people. It has, however, a great champion in the powerful newspaper, Le Temps, which has done, and will do, much to popularize the movement.

The Protestantism of Lot and Lot et Garonne is considerable, and it is of very long standing. It is recorded, too, that as late as October, 1901, the Commune of Murat went over en masse to Protestantism because the Catholic bishop at Cahors desired his communicants to rise from their beds at what they considered an inconveniently early hour, in order to hear mass.

This movement in Languedoc was not wholly due to the tyranny of the Duke of Anjou; it was caused in part by the confiscation or assumption of the papal authority by France. This caused not only an internal unrest in Italy, but a turbulence which spread throughout all the western Mediterranean, and even unto the Rhine and Flanders. The danger which threatened the establishment of the Church, by making the papacy a dependence of France, aroused the Italian prelates and people alike, and gave rise to the simultaneous existence of both a French and an Italian Pope.

Charles V. supported the French pontiff, as was but natural, thus fermenting a great schism; with its attendant controversies and horrors.

French and Italian politics became for a time inexplicably mingled, and the kingdom of Naples came to be transferred to the house of Anjou.

The Revolution, following close upon the Jansenist movement at Port Royal, and the bull Unigenitus of the Pope, resulted in such riot and disregard for all established institutions, monarchical, political, and religious, that the latter—quite as much as the others—suffered undue severity.

The Church itself was at this time divided, and rascally intrigue, as well as betrayal, was the order of the day on all sides. Bishops were politicians, and priests were but the tools of their masters; this to no small degree, if we are to accept the written records.

Talleyrand-Périgord, Bishop of Autun, was a member of the National Assembly, and often presided over the sittings of that none too deliberate body.

In the innovations of the Revolution, the Church and the clergy took, for what was believed to be the national good, their full and abiding share in the surrender of past privileges.

At Paris, at the instance of Mirabeau, they even acknowledged, in some measure, the principle of religious liberty, in its widest application.

The appalling massacres of September 2, 1792, fell heavily upon the clergy throughout France; of whom one hundred and forty were murdered at the Carmes alone.

The Archbishop of Arles on that eventful day gave utterance to the following devoted plea:

"Give thanks to God, gentlemen, that He calls us to seal with our blood the faith we profess. Let us ask of Him the grace of final perseverance, which by our own merit we could not obtain."

The Restoration found the Church in a miserable and impoverished condition. There was already a long list of dioceses without bishops; of cardinals, prelates, and priests without charges, many of them in prison.

Congregations innumerable had been suppressed and many sees had been abolished.

The new dioceses, under the Concordat of 1801, one for each department only, were of vast size as compared with those which had existed more numerously before the Revolution.

In 1822 thirty new sees were added to the prelature. To-day there are sixty-seven bishoprics and seventeen archbishoprics, not including the colonial suffragans, but including the diocese of Corsica, whose seat is at Ajaccio.

Church and State are thus seen to have been, from the earliest times, indissolubly linked throughout French dominion.

The king—while there was a king—was the eldest son of the Church, and, it is said, the Church in France remains to-day that part of the Roman communion which possesses the greatest importance for the governing body of that faith. This, in spite of the tendency toward what might be called, for the want of a more expressive word, irreligion. This is a condition, or a state, which is unquestionably making headway in the France of to-day—as well, presumably, as in other countries—of its own sheer weight of numbers.

One by one, since the establishment of the Church in Gaul, all who placed any limits to their ecclesiastical allegiance have been turned out, and so turned into enemies,—the Protestants, the Jansenists, followers of the Bishop of Ypres, and the Constitutionalists. Reconciliation on either side is, and ever has been, apparently, an impossibility.

Freedom of thought and action is undoubtedly increasing its license, and the clergy in politics, while a thing to be desired by many, is, after all, a thing to be feared by the greater number,—for whom a popular government is made. Hence the curtailment of the power of the monks—the real secular propagandists—was perhaps a wise thing. We are not to-day living under the conditions which will permit of a new Richelieu to come upon the scene, and the recent act (1902) which suppressed so many monastic establishments, convents, and religious houses of all ranks, including the Alpine retreat of "La Grande Chartreuse," may be taken rather as a natural process of curtailment than a mere vindictive desire on the part of the State to concern itself with "things that do not matter." On the other hand, it is hard to see just what immediate gain is to result to the nation.



The best history of the Middle Ages is that suggested by their architectural remains. That is, if we want tangible or ocular demonstration, which many of us do.

Many of these remains are but indications of a grandeur that is past and a valour and a heroism that are gone; but with the Church alone are suggested the piety and devotion which still live, at least to a far greater degree than many other sentiments and emotions; which in their struggle to keep pace with progress have suffered, or become effete by the way.

To the Church, then, or rather religion—if the word be preferred—we are chiefly indebted for the preservation of these ancient records in stone.

Ecclesiastical architecture led the way—there is no disputing that, whatever opinions may otherwise be held by astute archæologists, historians, and the antiquarians, whose food is anything and everything so long as it reeks of antiquity.

The planning and building of a great church was no menial work. Chief dignitaries themselves frequently engaged in it: the Abbot Suger, the foremost architect of his time—prime minister and regent of the kingdom as he was—at St. Denis; Archbishop Werner at Strasbourg; and William of Wykeham in England, to apportion such honours impartially.

Gothic style appears to have turned its back on Italy, where, in Lombardy at all events, were made exceedingly early attempts in this style. This, perhaps, because of satisfying and enduring classical works which allowed no rivalry; a state of affairs to some extent equally true of the south of France. The route of expansion, therefore, was northward, along the Rhine, into the Isle of France, to Belgium, and finally into England.

No more true or imaginative description of Gothic forms has been put into literature than those lines of Sir Walter Scott, which define its characteristics thus:

"... Whose pillars with clustered shafts so trim,
With base and capital flourished 'round,
Seemed bundles of lances which garlands had bound."

In modern times, even in France, church-building neither aspired to, nor achieved, any great distinction.

Since the Concordat what have we had? A few restorations, which in so far as they were carried out in the spirit of the original were excellent; a few added members, as the west front and spires of St. Ouen at Rouen; the towers and western portal at Clermont-Ferrand; and a few other works of like magnitude and worth. For the rest, where anything of bulk was undertaken, it was almost invariably a copy of a Renaissance model, and often a bad one at that; or a descent to some hybrid thing worse even than in their own line were the frank mediocrities of the era of the "Citizen-King," or the plush and horsehair horrors of the Second Empire.

Most characteristic, and truly the most important of all, are the remains of the Gallo-Roman period. These are the most notable and forceful reminders of the relative prominence obtained by mediæval pontiffs, prelates, and peoples.

These relations are further borne out by the frequent juxtaposition of ecclesiastical and civic institutions of the cities themselves,—fortifications, palaces, châteaux, cathedrals, and churches, the former indicating no more a predominance of power than the latter.

A consideration of one, without something more than mere mention of the other, is not possible, and incidentally—even for the church-lover—nothing can be more interesting than the great works of fortification—strong, frowning, and massive—as are yet to be seen at Béziers, Carcassonne, or Avignon. It was this latter city which sheltered within its outer walls that monumental reminder of the papal power which existed in this French capital of the "Church of Rome"—as it must still be called—in the fourteenth century.

To the stranger within the gates the unconscious resemblance between a castellated and battlemented feudal stronghold and the many churches,—and even certain cathedrals, as at Albi, Béziers, or Agde,—which were not unlike in their outline, will present some confusion of ideas.

Between a crenelated battlement or the machicolations of a city wall, as at Avignon; or of a hôtel de ville, as at Narbonne; or the same detail surmounting an episcopal residence, as at Albi, which is a veritable donjon; or the Palais des Papes, is not a difference even of degree. It is the same thing in each case. In one instance, however, it may have been purely for defence, and in the other used as a decorative accessory; in the latter case it was no less useful when occasion required. This feature throughout the south of France is far more common than in the north, and is bound to be strongly remarked.

Two great groups or divisions of architectural style are discernible throughout the south, even by the most casual of observers.

One is the Provençal variety, which clings somewhat closely to the lower valley of the Rhône; and the other, the Aquitanian (with possibly the more restricted Auvergnian).

These types possess in common the one distinctive trait, in some form or other, of the round-arched vaulting of Roman tradition. It is hardly more than a reminiscence, however, and while not in any way resembling the northern Gothic, at least in the Aquitanian species, hovers on the borderland between the sunny south and the more frigid north.

The Provençal type more nearly approximates the older Roman, and, significantly, it has—with less interpolation of modern ideas—endured the longest.

The Aquitanian style of the cathedrals at Périgueux and Angoulême, to specialize but two, is supposed to—and it does truly—bridge the gulf between the round-arched style which is not Roman and the more brilliant and graceful type of Gothic.

With this manner of construction goes, of course, a somewhat different interior arrangement than that seen in the north.

A profound acquaintance with the subject will show that it bears a certain resemblance to the disposition of parts in an Eastern mosque, and to the earlier form of Christian church—the basilica.

In this regard Fergusson makes the statement without reservation that the Eglise de Souillac more nearly resembles the Cairène type of Mohammedan mosque than it does a Christian church—of any era.

A distinct feature of this type is the massive pointed arch, upon which so many have built their definition of Gothic. In truth, though, it differs somewhat from the northern Gothic arch, but is nevertheless very ancient. It is used in early Christian churches,—at Acre and Jaffa,—and was adopted, too, by the architects of the Eastern Empire long before its introduction into Gaul.

The history of its transportation might be made interesting, and surely instructive, were one able to follow its orbit with any definite assurance that one was not wandering from the path. This does not seem possible; most experts, real or otherwise, who have tried it seem to flounder and finally fall in the effort to trace its history in consecutive and logical, or even plausible, fashion.

In illustration this is well shown by that wonderful and unique church of St. Front at Périgueux, where, in a design simple to severity, it shows its great unsimilarity to anything in other parts of France; if we except La Trinité at Anjou, with respect to its roofing and piers of nave.

It has been compared in general plan and outline to St. Marc's at Venice, "but a St. Marc's stripped of its marbles and mosaics."

In the Italian building its founders gathered their inspiration for many of its structural details from the old Byzantine East. At this time the Venetians were pushing their commercial enterprises to all parts. North-western France, and ultimately the British Isles, was the end sought. We know, too, that a colony of Venetians had established itself as far northward as Limoges, and another at Périgueux, when, in 984, this edifice, which might justly be called Venetian in its plan, was begun.

No such decoration or ornamentation was presumed as in its Adriatic prototype, but it had much beautiful carving in the capitals of its pillars and yet other embellishments, such as pavements, monuments, and precious altars, which once, it is said, existed more numerously than now.

Here, then, was the foundation of a new western style, differing in every respect from the Provençal or the Angevinian.

Examples of the northern pointed or Gothic are, in a large way, found as far south as Bayonne in its cathedral; in the spires of the cathedral at Bordeaux; and less grandly, though elegantly, disposed in St. Nazaire in the old Cité de Carcassonne; and farther north at Clermont-Ferrand, where its northern-pointed cathedral is in strong contrast to the neighbouring Notre Dame du Port, a remarkable type distinctly local in its plan and details.

From this point onward, it becomes not so much a question of defining and placing types, as of a chronological arrangement of fact with regard to the activities of the art of church-building.

It is doubtless true that many of the works of the ninth and tenth centuries were but feeble imitations of the buildings of Charlemagne, but it is also true that the period was that which was bringing about the development of a more or less distinct style, and if the Romanesque churches of France were not wholly Roman in spirit they were at least not a debasement therefrom.

Sir Walter Scott has also described the Romanesque manner of church-building most poetically, as witness the following quatrain:

"Built ere the art was known
By pointed aisle and shafted stalk
The arcades of an alleyed walk
To emulate in stone."

However, little remains in church architecture of the pre-tenth century to compare with the grand theatres, arenas, monuments, arches, towers, and bridges which are still left to us. Hence comparison were futile. Furthermore, there is this patent fact to be reckoned with, that the petty followers of the magnificent Charlemagne were not endowed with as luxurious a taste, as large a share of riches, or so great a power; and naturally they fell before the idea they would have emulated.

As a whole France was at this period amid great consternation and bloodshed, and traces of advancing civilization were fast falling before wars and cruelties unspeakable. There came a period when the intellect, instead of pursuing its rise, was, in reality, degenerating into the darkness of superstition.

The church architecture of this period—so hostile to the arts and general enlightenment—was undergoing a process even more fatal to its development than the terrors of war or devastation.

It is a commonplace perhaps to repeat that it was the superstition aroused by the Apocalypse that the end of all things would come with the commencement of the eleventh century. It was this, however, that produced the stagnation in church-building which even the ardour of a few believing churchmen could not allay. The only great religious foundation of the time was the Abbey of Cluny in the early years of the tenth century.

When the eleventh century actually arrived, Christians again bestirred themselves, and the various cities and provinces vied with each other in their enthusiastic devotion to church-building, as if to make up for lost time.

From this time onward the art of church-building gave rise to that higher skill and handicraft, the practice of architecture as an art, of which ecclesiastical art, as was but natural, rose to the greatest height.

The next century was productive of but little change in style, and, though in the north the transition and the most primitive of Gothic were slowly creeping in, the well-defined transition did not come until well forward in the twelfth century, when, so soon after, the new style bloomed forth in all its perfected glory.

The cathedrals of southern France are manifestly not as lively and vigorous as those at Reims, Amiens, or Rouen; none have the splendour and vast extent of old glass as at Chartres, and none of the smaller examples equal the symmetry and delicacy of those at Noyon or Senlis.

Some there be, however, which for magnificence and impressiveness take rank with the most notable of any land. This is true of those of Albi, Le Puy, Périgueux, and Angoulême. Avignon, too, in the ensemble of its cathedral and the papal palace, forms an architectural grouping that is hardly rivalled by St. Peter's and the Vatican itself.

In many of the cities of the south of France the memory of the past, with respect to their cathedrals, is overshadowed by that of their secular and civic monuments, the Roman arenas, theatres, and temples. At Nîmes, Arles, Orange, and Vienne these far exceed in importance and beauty the religious establishments.

The monasteries, abbeys, and priories of the south of France are perhaps not more numerous, nor yet more grand, than elsewhere, but they bring one to-day into more intimate association with their past.

The "Gallia-Monasticum" enumerates many score of these establishments as having been situated in these parts. Many have passed away, but many still exist.

Among the first of their kind were those founded by St. Hilaire at Poitiers and St. Martin at Tours. The great Burgundian pride was the Abbey of Cluny; much the largest and perhaps as grand as any erected in any land. Its church covered over seventy thousand square feet of area, nearly equalling in size the cathedrals at Amiens and at Bourges, and larger than either those at Chartres, Paris, or Reims. This great church was begun in 1089, was dedicated in 1131, and endured for more than seven centuries. To-day but a few small fragments remain, but note should be made of the influences which spread from this great monastic establishment throughout all Europe; and were second only to those of Rome itself.

The lovely cloistered remains of Provence, Auvergne, and Aquitaine, the comparatively modern Charterhouse—called reminiscently the Escurial of Dauphiné—near Grenoble, the communistic church of St. Bertrand de Comminges, La Chaise Dieu, Clairvaux, and innumerable other abbeys and monasteries will recall to mind more forcibly than aught else what their power must once have been.

Between the seventh and tenth centuries these institutions flourished and developed in all of the provinces which go to make up modern France. But the eleventh and twelfth centuries were the golden days of these institutions. They rendered unto the land and the people immense service, and their monks studied not only the arts and sciences, but worked with profound intelligence at all manner of utile labour. Their architecture exerted a considerable influence on this growing art of the nation, and many of their grand churches were but the forerunners of cathedrals yet to be. After the twelfth century, when the arts in France had reached the greatest heights yet attained, these religious establishments were—to give them historical justice—the greatest strength in the land.

In most cases where the great cathedrals were not the works of bishops, who may at one time have been members of monastic communities themselves, they were the results of the efforts of laymen who were direct disciples of the architect monks.

The most prolific monastic architect was undoubtedly St. Bénigne of Dijon, the Italian monk whose work was spread not only throughout Brittany and Normandy, but even across the Channel to England.

One is reminded in France that the nation's first art expression was made through church-building and decoration. This proves Ruskin's somewhat involved dicta, that, "architecture is the art which disposes and adorns the edifices raised by man ... a building raised to the honour of God has surely a use to which its architectural adornment fits it."

From whatever remote period the visible history of France has sprung, it is surely from its architectural remains—of which religious edifices have endured the most abundantly—that its chronicles since Gallo-Roman times are built up.

In the south of France, from the Gallic and Roman wars and invasions, we have a basis of tangibility, inasmuch as the remains are more numerous and definite than the mere pillars of stone and slabs of rock to be found in Bretagne, which apocryphally are supposed to indicate an earlier civilization. The menhirs and dolmens may mean much or little; the subject is too vague to follow here, but they are not found east of the Rhône, so the religion of fanaticism, of whatever species of fervour they may have resulted from, has left very little impress on France as a nation.

After the rudest early monuments were erected in the south, became ruined, and fell, there followed gateways, arches, aqueducts, arenas, theatres, temples, and, finally, churches; and from these, however minute the stones, the later civilizing and Christianizing history of this fair land is built up.

It is not possible to ignore these secular and worldly contemporaries of the great churches. It would be fatal to simulate blindness, and they could not otherwise be overlooked.

After the church-building era was begun, the development of the various styles was rapid: Gothic came, bloomed, flourished, and withered away. Then came the Renaissance, not all of it bad, but in the main entirely unsuitable as a type of Christian architecture.

Charles VIII. is commonly supposed to have been the introducer of the Italian Renaissance into France, but it was to Francois I.—that great artistic monarch and glorifier of the style in its domestic forms at least—that its popularization was due, who shall not say far beyond its deserts? Only in the magnificent châteaux, variously classed as Feudal, Renaissance, and Bourbon, did it partake of details and plans which proved glorious in their application. All had distinctly inconsistent details grafted upon them; how could it have been otherwise with the various fortunes of their houses?

There is little or nothing of Gothic in the château architecture of France to distinguish it from the more pronounced type which can hardly be expressed otherwise than as "the architecture of the French châteaux." No single word will express it, and no one type will cover them all, so far as defining their architectural style. The castle at Tarascon has a machicolated battlement; Coucy and Pierrefonds are towered and turreted as only a French château can be; the ruined and black-belted château of Angers is aught but a fortress; and Blois is an indescribable mixture of style which varies from the magnificent to the sordid. This last has ever been surrounded by a sentiment which is perhaps readily enough explained, but its architecture is of that decidedly mixed type which classes it as a mere hybrid thing, and in spite of the splendour of the additions by the houses of the Salamander and the Hedgehog, it is a species which is as indescribable (though more effective) in domestic architecture as is the Tudor of England.

With the churches the sentiments aroused are somewhat different. The Romanesque, Provençal, Auvergnian, or Aquitanian, all bespeak the real expression of the life of the time, regardless of whether individual examples fall below or rise above their contemporaries elsewhere.

The assertion is here confidently made, that a great cathedral church is, next to being a symbol of the faith, more great as a monument to its age and environment than as the product of its individual builders; crystallizing in stone the regard with which the mission of the Church was held in the community. Church-building was never a fanaticism, though it was often an enthusiasm.

There is no question but that church history in general, and church architecture in particular, are becoming less and less the sole pursuit of the professional. One does not need to adopt a transcendent doctrine by merely taking an interest, or an intelligent survey, in the social and political aspects of the Church as an institution, nor is he becoming biassed or prejudiced by a true appreciation of the symbolism and artistic attributes which have ever surrounded the art of church-building of the Roman Catholic Church. All will admit that the æsthetic aspect of the church edifice has always been the superlative art expression of its era, race, and locality.


South of the Loire



The region immediately to the southward of the Loire valley is generally accounted the most fertile, abundant, and prosperous section of France. Certainly the food, drink, and shelter of all classes appear to be arranged on a more liberal scale than elsewhere; and this, be it understood, is a very good indication of the prosperity of a country.

Touraine, with its luxurious sentiment of châteaux, counts, and bishops, is manifestly of the north, as also is the border province of Maine and Anjou, which marks the progress and development of church-building from the manifest Romanesque types of the south to the arched vaults of the northern variety.

Immediately to the southward—if one journeys but a few leagues—in Poitou, Saintonge, and Angoumois, or in the east, in Berri, Marche, and Limousin, one comes upon a very different sentiment indeed. There is an abundance for all, but without the opulence of Burgundy or the splendour of Touraine.

Of the three regions dealt with in this section, Poitou is the most prosperous, Auvergne the most picturesque,—though the Cevennes are stern and sterile,—and Limousin the least appealing.

Limousin and, in some measure, Berri and Marche are purely pastoral; and, though greatly diversified as to topography, lack, in abundance, architectural monuments of the first rank.

Poitou, in the west, borders upon the ocean and is to a great extent wild, rugged, and romantic. The forest region of the Bocage has ever been a theme for poets and painters. In the extreme west of the province is the Vendée, now the department of the same name. The struggles of its inhabitants on behalf of the monarchical cause, in the early years of the Revolution, is a lurid page of blood-red history that recalls one of the most gallant struggles in the life of the monarchy.

The people here were hardy and vigorous,—a race of landlords who lived largely upon their own estates but still retained an attachment for the feudatories round about, a feeling which was unknown elsewhere in France.

Poitiers, on the river Clain, a tributary of the Vienne, is the chief city of Poitou. Its eight magnificent churches are greater, in the number and extent of their charms, than any similar octette elsewhere.

The valley of the Charente waters a considerable region to the southward of Poitiers. "Le bon Roi" Henri IV. called the stream the most charming in all his kingdom. The chief cities on its banks are La Rochelle, the Huguenot stronghold; Rochefort, famed in worldly fashion for its cheeses; and Angoulême, famed for its "Duchesse," who was also worldly, and more particularly for its great domed cathedral of St. Pierre.

With Auvergne one comes upon a topographical aspect quite different from anything seen elsewhere.

Most things of this world are but comparative, and so with Auvergne. It is picturesque, certainly. Le Puy has indeed been called "by one who knows," "the most picturesque place in the world." Clermont-Ferrand is almost equally attractive as to situation; while Puy de Dôme, Riom, and St. Nectaire form a trio of naturally picturesque topographical features which it would be hard to equal within so small a radius elsewhere.

The country round about is volcanic, and the face of the landscape shows it plainly. Clermont-Ferrand, the capital, was a populous city in Roman times, and was the centre from which the spirit of the Church survived and went forth anew after five consecutive centuries of devastation and bloodshed of Vandals, Visigoths, Franks, Saracens, Carlovingians and Capetians.

Puy de Dôme, near Clermont-Ferrand, is a massive rocky mount which rises nearly five thousand feet above the sea-level, and presents one of those uncommon and curious sights which one can hardly realize until he comes immediately beneath their spell.

Throughout this region are many broken volcanic craters and lava streams. At Mont Doré-le-Bains are a few remains of a Roman thermal establishment; an indication that these early settlers found—if they did not seek—these warm springs of a unique quality, famous yet throughout the world.

An alleged "Druid's altar," more probably merely a dolmen, is situated near St. Nectaire, a small watering-place which is also possessed of an impressively simple, though massive, Romanesque church.

At Issiore is the Eglise de St. Pol, a large and important church, built in the eleventh century, in the Romanesque manner. Another most interesting great church is La Chaise Dieu near Le Puy, a remarkable construction of the fourteenth century. It was originally the monastery of the Casa Dei. It has been popularly supposed heretofore that its floor was on a level with the summit of Puy de Dôme, hence its appropriate nomenclature; latterly the assertion has been refuted, as it may be by any one who takes the trouble to compare the respective elevations in figures. This imposing church ranks, however, unreservedly among the greatest of the mediæval monastic establishments of France.

The powerful feudal system of the Middle Ages, which extended from the Atlantic and German Oceans nearly to the Neapolitan and Spanish borders—afterward carried still farther into Naples and Britain—finds its most important and striking monument of central France in the Château of Polignac, only a few miles from Le Puy. This to-day is but a ruin, but it rises boldly from a depressed valley, and suggests in every way—ruin though it be—the mediæval stronghold that it once was.

Originally it was the seat of the distinguished family whose name it bears. The Revolution practically destroyed it, but such as is left shows completely the great extent of its functions both as a fortress and a palace.

These elements were made necessary by long ages of warfare and discord,—local in many cases, but none the less bloodthirsty for that,—and while such institutions naturally promulgated the growth of Feudalism which left these massive and generous memorials, it is hard to see, even to-day, how else the end might have been obtained.

Auvergne, according to Fergusson, who in his fact has seldom been found wanting, "has one of the most beautiful and numerous of the 'round-Gothic' styles in France ... classed among the perfected styles of Europe."

Immediately to the southward of Le Puy is that marvellous country known as the Cevennes. It has been commonly called sterile, bare, unproductive, and much that is less charitable as criticism.

It is not very productive, to be sure, but a native of the land once delivered himself of this remark: "Le mûrier a été pendant longtemps l'arbre d'or du Cevenol." This is prima-facie evidence that the first statement was a libel.

In the latter years of the eighteenth century the Protestants of the Cevennes were a large and powerful body of dissenters.

A curious work in English, written by a native of Languedoc in 1703, states "that they were at least ten to one Papist. And 'twas observed, in many Places, the Priest said mass only for his Clerk, Himself, and the Walls."

These people were not only valiant but industrious, and at that time held the most considerable trade in wool of all France.

To quote again this eighteenth-century Languedocian, who aspired to be a writer of English, we learn:

"God vouchsafed to Illuminate this People with the Truths of the Gospel, several Ages before the Reformation.... The Waldenses and Albigenses fled into the Mountains to escape the violence of the Crusades against them.... Cruel persecution did not so wholly extinguish the Sacred Light in the Cevennes, but that some parts of it were preserved among its Ashes."

As early as 1683 the Protestants in many parts of southern France drew up a Project of non-compliance with the Edicts and Declarations against them.

The inhabitants in general, however, of the wealthy cities of Montpellier, Nîmes and Uzès were divided much as factions are to-day, and the Papist preference prevailing, the scheme was not put into execution. Because of this, attempted resistance was made only in some parts of the Cevennes and Dauphiné. Here the dissenters met with comfort and assurance by the preachings of several ministers, and finally sought to go out proselytizing among their outside brethren in affliction. This brought martyrdom, oppression, and bloodshed; and finally culminated in a long series of massacres. Children in large numbers were taken from their parents, and put under the Romish faith, as a precaution, presumably, that future generations should be more tractable and faithful.

It is told of the Bishop of Alais that upon visiting the curé at Vigan, he desired that forty children should be so put away, forthwith. The curé could find but sixteen who were not dutiful toward the Church, but the bishop would have none of it. Forty was his quota from that village, and forty must be found. Forty were found, the rest being made up from those who presumably stood in no great need of the care of the Church, beyond such as already came into their daily lives.

It seems outrageous and unfair at this late day, leaving all question of Church and creed outside the pale, but most machination of arbitrary law and ruling works the same way, and pity 'tis that the Church should not have been the first to recognize this tendency. However, these predilections on the part of the people are scarcely more than a memory to-day, in spite of the fact that Protestantism still holds forth in many parts. Taine was undoubtedly right when he said that it was improbable that such a religion would ever satisfy the French temperament.

Limousin partakes of many of the characteristics of Auvergne and Poitou. Its architectural types favour the latter, and its topographical features the former. The resemblance is not so very great in either case, but it is to be remarked. Its chief city, Limoges, lies to the northward of the Montagnes du Limousin, on the banks of the Vienne, which, through the Loire, enters the Atlantic at St. Nazaire.

In a way, its topographical situation, as above noted, accounts far more for its tendencies of life, the art expression of its churches, and its ancient enamels and pottery of to-day, than does its climatic situation. It is climatically of the southland, but its industry and its influences have been greatly northern.

With the surrounding country this is not true, but with its one centre of population—Limoges—it is.



Maillezais is but a memory, so far as its people and power are concerned. It is not even a Vendean town, as many suppose, though it was the seat of a thirteenth-century bishopric, which in the time of Louis Quatorze was transferred to La Rochelle.

Its abbey church, the oldest portion of which dates from the tenth to the twelfth centuries, is now but a ruin.

In the fourteenth century the establishment was greatly enlarged and extensive buildings added.

To-day it is classed, by the Commission des Monuments Historiques, among those treasures for which it stands sponsor as to their antiquity, artistic worth, and future preservation. Aside from this and the record of the fact that it became, in the fourteenth century, the seat of a bishop's throne,—with Geoffroy I. as its first occupant,—it must be dismissed without further comment.



The city of La Rochelle will have more interest for the lover of history than for the lover of churches.

Its past has been lurid, and the momentous question of the future rights of the Protestants of France made this natural stronghold the battle-ground where the most stubborn resistance against Church and State was made.

The siege of 1573 was unsuccessful. But a little more than half a century later the city, after a siege of fourteen months, gave way before the powerful force brought against it by Cardinal Richelieu in person, supported by Louis XIII.

For this reason, if for no other, he who would know from personal acquaintance the ground upon which the mighty battles of the faith were fought will not pass the Huguenot city quickly by.

The Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle naturally might not be supposed to possess a very magnificent Roman cathedral. As a matter of fact it does not, and it has only ranked as a cathedral city since 1665, when the bishopric was transferred from Maillezais. The city was in the hands of the Huguenots from 1557 until the siege of 1628-1629; and was, during all this time, the bulwark of the Protestant cause in France.

The present cathedral of St. Louis dates only from 1735.

Its pseudo-classic features classify it as one of those structures designated by the discerning Abbé Bourassé as being "cold-blooded and lacking in lustre."

It surely is all of that, and the pity is that it offers no charm whatever of either shape or feature.

It is of course more than likely that Huguenot influence was here so great as to have strangled any ambition on the part of the mediæval builders to have erected previously anything more imposing. And when that time was past came also the demise of Gothic splendour. The transition from the pointed to the superimposed classical details, which was the distinctive Renaissance manner of church-building, was not as sudden as many suppose, though it came into being simultaneously throughout the land.

There is no trace, however, in the cathedral of St. Louis, of anything but a base descent to features only too well recognized as having little of churchly mien about them; and truly this structure is no better or worse as an art object than many others of its class. The significant aspect being that, though it resembles Gothic not at all, neither does it bear any close relationship to the Romanesque.

The former parish church of St. Barthèlemy, long since destroyed, has left behind, as a memory of its former greatness, a single lone tower, the work of a Cluniac monk, Mognon by name. It is worth hours of contemplation and study as compared with the minutes which could profitably be devoted to the cathedral of St. Louis.



When the see of Luçon was established in the fourteenth century it comprehended a territory over which Poitiers had previously had jurisdiction. A powerful abbey was here in the seventh century, but the first bishop, Pierre de la Veyrie, did not come to the diocese until 1317. The real fame of the diocese, in modern minds, lies in the fact that Cardinal Richelieu was made bishop of Luçon in the seventeenth century (1606 to 1624).

The cathedral at Luçon is a remarkable structure in appearance. A hybrid conglomerate thing, picturesque enough to the untrained eye, but ill-proportioned, weak, effeminate, and base.

Its graceful Gothic spire, crocketed, and of true dwindling dimensions, is superimposed on a tower which looks as though it might have been modelled with a series of children's building-blocks. This in its turn crowns a classical portal and colonnade in most uncanny fashion.

In the first stage of this tower, as it rises above the portal, is what, at a distance, appears to be a diminutive rosace. In reality it is an enormous clock-face, to which one's attention is invariably directed by the native, a species of local admiration which is universal throughout the known world wherever an ungainly clock exists.

The workmanship of the building as a whole is of every century from the twelfth to the seventeenth, with a complete "restoration" in 1853. In the episcopal palace is a cloistered arcade, the remains of a fifteenth-century work.

A rather pleasing situation sets off this pretentious but unworthy cathedral in a manner superior to that which it deserves.



The grandest and most notable tenth-century church yet remaining in France is unquestionably that of St. Front at Périgueux.

From the records of its history and a study of its distinctive constructive elements has been traced the development of the transition period which ultimately produced the Gothic splendours of the Isle of France.

It is more than reminiscent of St. Marc's at Venice, and is the most notable exponent of that type of roofing which employed the cupola in groups, to sustain the thrust and counterthrust, which was afterward accomplished by the ogival arch in conjunction with the flying buttress.

Here are comparatively slight sustaining walls, and accordingly no great roofed-over chambers such as we get in the later Gothic, but the whole mass is, in spite of this, suggestive of a massiveness which many more heavily walled churches do not possess. Paradoxically, too, a view over its roof-top, with its ranges of egg-like domes, suggests a frailty which but for its scientifically disposed strains would doubtless have collapsed ere now.

This ancient abbatial church succeeded an earlier basilique on the same site. Viollet-le-Duc says of it: "It is an importation from a foreign country; the most remarkable example of church-building in Gaul since the barbaric invasion."

The plan of the cathedral follows not only the form of St. Marc's, but also approximates its dimensions. The remains of the ancient basilica are only to be remarked in the portion which precedes the foremost cupola.

St. Front has the unusual attribute of an avant-porch,—a sort of primitive narthen, as was a feature of tenth-century buildings (see plan and descriptions of a tenth-century church in appendix), behind which is a second porch,—a vestibule beneath the tower,—and finally the first of the group, of five central cupolas.

The clocher or belfry of St. Front is accredited as being one of the most remarkable eleventh-century erections of its kind in any land. It is made up of square stages, each smaller than the other, and crowned finally by a conic cupola.

Its early inception and erection here are supposed to account for the similarity of others—not so magnificent, but like to a marked degree—in the neighbouring provinces.

Here is no trace of the piled-up tabouret style of later centuries, and it is far removed from the mosque-like minarets which were the undoubted prototypes of the mediæval clochers. So, too, it is different, quite, from the Italian campanile or the beffroi which crept into civic architecture in the north; but whose sole example in the south of France is believed to be that curious structure which still holds forth in the papal city of Avignon.

Says Bourassé: "The cathedral of St. Front at Périgueux is unique." Its foundation dates with certitude from between 1010 and 1047, and is therefore contemporary with that of St. Marc's at Venice—which it so greatly resembles—which was rebuilt after a fire between 977 and 1071.

Detail of the Interior of St. Front de Périgueux
Detail of the Interior of St. Front de Périgueux

The general effect of the interior is as impressive as it is unusual, with its lofty cupolas, its weighty and gross pillars, and its massive arches between the cupolas; all of which are purely constructive elements.

There are few really ornamental details, and such as exist are of a severe and unprogressive type, being merely reminiscent of the antique.

In its general plan, St. Front follows that of a Grecian cross, its twelve wall-faces crowned by continuous pediments. Eight massive pillars, whose functions are those of the later developed buttress, flank the extremities of the cross, and are crowned by pyramidal cupolas which, with the main roofing, combine to give that distinctive character to this unusual and "foreign" cathedral of mid-France.

St. Front, from whom the cathedral takes its name, became the first bishop of Périgueux when the see was founded in the second century.



IN 1317 the diocese of Poitiers was divided, and parts apportioned to the newly founded bishoprics of Maillezais and Luçon. The first bishop of Poitiers was St. Nectaire, in the third century. By virtue of the Concordat of 1801 the diocese now comprehends the Departments of Vienne and Deux-Sèvres.

The cathedral of St. Pierre de Poitiers has been baldly and tersely described as a "mere Lombard shell with a Gothic porch." This hardly does it justice, even as to preciseness. The easterly portion is Lombard, without question, and the nave is of the northern pointed variety; a not unusual admixture of feature, but one which can but suggest that still more, much more, is behind it.

The pointed nave is of great beauty, and, in the westerly end, contains an elaborate rosace—an infrequent attribute in these parts.

The aisles are of great breadth, and are quite as lofty in proportion. This produces an effect of great amplitude, nearly as much so as of the great halled churches at Albi or the aisleless St. André at Bordeaux, and contrasts forcibly in majesty with the usual Gothic conception of great height, as against extreme width.



Of Poitiers Professor Freeman says: "It is no less a city of counts than Angers; and if Counts of Anjou grew into Kings of England, one Countess of Poitiers grew no less into a Queen of England; and when the young Henry took her to wife, he took all Poitou with her, and Aquitaine and Gascogne, too, so great was his desire for lands and power." Leaving that aspect apart—to the historians and apologists—it is the churches of Poitiers which have for the traveller the greatest and all-pervading interest.

Poitiers is justly famed for its noble and numerous mediæval church edifices. Five of them rank as a unique series of Romanesque types—the most precious in all France. In importance they are perhaps best ranked as follows: St. Hilaire, of the tenth and eleventh centuries; the Baptistère, or the Temple St. Jean, of the fourth to twelfth centuries; Notre Dame de la Grande and St. Radegonde, of the eleventh and twelfth centuries; and La Cathédrale, dating from the end of the Romanesque period. Together they present a unique series of magnificent churches, as is truly claimed.

When one crosses the Loire, he crosses the boundary not only into southern Gaul but into southern Europe as well; where the very aspects of life, as well as climatic and topographical conditions and features, are far different from those of the northern French provinces.

Looking backward from the Middle Ages—from the fourteenth century to the fourth—one finds the city less a city of counts than of bishops.

Another aspect which places Poitiers at the very head of ecclesiastical foundations is that it sustained, and still sustains, a separate religious edifice known as the Baptistère. It is here a structure of Christian-Roman times, and is a feature seldom seen north of the Alps, or even out of Italy. There is, however, another example at Le Puy and another at Aix-en-Provence. This Baptistère de St. Jean was founded during the reign of St. Hilaire as bishop of Poitiers, a prelate whose name still lives in the Église St. Hilaire-le-Grand.

The cathedral of St. Pierre is commonly classed under the generic style of Romanesque; more particularly it is of the Lombard variety, if such a distinction can be made between the two species with surety. At all events it marks the dividing-line—or period, when the process of evolution becomes most marked—between the almost pagan plan of many early Christian churches and the coming of Gothic.

In spite of its prominence and its beauty with regard to its accessories, St. Pierre de Poitiers does not immediately take rank as the most beautiful, nor yet the most interesting, among the churches of the city: neither has it the commanding situation of certain other cathedrals of the neighbouring provinces, such as Notre Dame at Le Puy, St. Maurice at Angers, or St. Front at Périgueux. In short, as to situation, it just misses what otherwise might have been a commanding location.

St. Radegonde overhangs the river Clain, but is yet far below the cathedral, which stands upon the eastern flank of an eminence, and from many points is lost entirely to view. From certain distant vantage-ground, the composition is, however, as complete and imposing an ensemble as might be desired, but decidedly the nearer view is not so pleasing, and somewhat mitigates the former estimate.

There is a certain uncouthness in the outlines of this church that does not bring it into competition with that class of the great churches of France known as les grandes cathédrales.

The general outline of the roof—omitting of course the scanty transepts—is very reminiscent of Bourges; and again of Albi. The ridge-pole is broken, however, by a slight differentiation of height between the choir and the nave, and the westerly towers scarcely rise above the roof itself.

The easterly termination is decidedly unusual, even unto peculiarity. It is not, after the English manner, of the squared east-end variety, nor yet does it possess an apse of conventional form, but rather is a combination of the two widely differing styles, with considerably more than a suggested apse when viewed from the interior, and merely a flat bare wall when seen from the outside. In addition three diminutive separate apses are attached thereto, and present in the completed arrangement a variation or species which is distinctly local.

The present edifice dates from 1162, its construction being largely due to the Countess Eleanor, queen to the young Earl Henry.

The high altar was dedicated in 1199, but the choir itself was not finished until a half-century later.

There is no triforium or clerestory, and, but for the aisles, the cathedral would approximate the dimensions and interior outlines of that great chambered church at Albi; as it is, it comes well within the classification called by the Germans hallenkirche.

Professor Freeman has said that a church that has aisles can hardly be called a typical Angevin church; but St. Pierre de Poitiers is distinctly Angevin in spite of the loftiness of its walls and pillars.

The west front is the most elaborate constructive element and is an addition of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, with flanking towers of the same period which stand well forward and to one side, as at Rouen, and at Wells, in England.

The western doorway is decorated with sculptures of the fifteenth century, in a manner which somewhat suggests the work of the northern builders; who, says Fergusson, "were aiding the bishops of the southern dioceses to emulate in some degree the ambitious works of the Isle of France."

The ground-plan of this cathedral is curious, and shows, in its interior arrangements, a narrowing or drawing in of parts toward the east. This is caused mostly by the decreasing effect of height between the nave and choir, and the fact that the attenuated transepts are hardly more than suggestions—occupying but the width of one bay.

The nave of eight bays and the aisles are of nearly equal height, which again tends to produce an effect of length.

There is painted glass of the thirteenth century in small quantity, and a much larger amount of an eighteenth-century product, which shows—as always—the decadence of the art. Of this glass, that of the rosace at the westerly end is perhaps the best, judging from the minute portions which can be seen peeping out from behind the organ-case.

The present high altar is a modern work, as also—comparatively—are the tombs of various churchmen which are scattered throughout the nave and choir. In the sacristy, access to which is gained by some mystic rite not always made clear to the visitor, are supposed to be a series of painted portraits of all the former bishops of Poitiers, from the fourteenth century onward. It must be an interesting collection if the outsider could but judge for himself; as things now are, it has to be taken on faith.

A detail of distinct value, and a feature which shows a due regard for the abilities of the master workman who built the cathedral, though his name is unknown, is to be seen in the tympana of the canopies which overhang the stalls of the choir. Here is an acknowledgment—in a tangible if not a specific form—of the architectural genius who was responsible for the construction of this church. It consists of a sculptured figure in stone, which bears in its arms a compass and a T square. This suggests the possible connection between the Masonic craft and church-building of the Middle Ages; a subject which has ever been a vexed question among antiquaries, and one which doubtless ever will be.

The episcopal residence adjoins the cathedral on the right, and the charming Baptistère St. Jean is also close to the walls of, but quite separate from, the main building of the cathedral.

The other architectural attractions of Poitiers are nearly as great as its array of churches.

The Musée is exceedingly rich in archæological treasures. The present-day Palais de Justice was the former palace of the Counts of Poitou. It has a grand chamber in its Salle des Pas-perdus, which dates from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries as to its decorations. The ramparts of the city are exceedingly interesting and extensive. In the modern hôtel de ville are a series of wall decorations by Puvis de Chavannes. The Hôtel d'Aquitaine (sixteenth century), in the Grand Rue, was the former residence of the Priors of St. John of Jerusalem.

The Chronique de Maillezais tells of a former bishop of Poitiers who, about the year 1114, sought to excommunicate that gay prince and poet, William, the ninth Count of Poitiers, the earliest of that race of poets known as the troubadours. Coming into the count's presence to repeat the formula of excommunication, he was threatened with the sword of that gay prince. Thinking better, however, the count admonished him thus: "No, I will not. I do not love you well enough to send you to paradise." He took upon himself, though, to exercise his royal prerogative; and henceforth, for his rash edict, the bishop of Poitiers was banished for ever, and the see descended unto other hands.

The generally recognized reputation of William being that of a "grand trompeur des dames," this action was but a duty which the honest prelate was bound to perform, disastrous though the consequences might be. Still he thought not of that, and was not willing to accept palliation for the count's venial sins in the shape of that nobleman's capacities as the first chanter of his time,—poetic measures of doubtful morality.



"Les Limosinats leave their cities poor, and they return poor, after long years of labour."

De la Bédolliere.

Limoges was the capital around which centred the life and activities of the pays du Limousin when that land marked the limits of the domain of the Kings of France. (Guienne then being under other domination.)

The most ancient inhabitants of the province were known as Lemovices, but the transition and evolution of the vocable are easily followed to that borne by the present city of Limoges, perhaps best known of art lovers as the home of that school of fifteenth century artists who produced the beautiful works called Emaux de Limoges.

St. Etienne de Limoges

St. Etienne de Limoges

The earliest specimens of what has come to be popularly known as Limoges enamel date from the twelfth century; and the last of the great masters in the splendid art died in 1765.

The real history of this truly great art, which may be said to have taken its highest forms in ecclesiology,—of which examples are frequently met with in the sacristies of the cathedral churches of France and elsewhere—is vague to the point of obscurity. A study of the subject, deep and profound, is the only process by which one can acquire even a nodding acquaintance with all its various aspects.

It reached its greatest heights in the reign of that artistic monarch, François I. To-day the memory and suggestion of the art of the enamelists of Limoges are perpetuated by, and, through those cursory mentors, the guide-books and popular histories, often confounded with, the production of porcelain. This industry not only flourishes here, but the famous porcelain earth of the country round about is supplied even to the one-time royal factory of Sèvres.

St. Martial was the first prelate at Limoges, in the third century. The diocese is to-day a suffragan of Bourges, and its cathedral of St. Etienne, while not a very ancient structure, is most interesting as to its storied past and varied and lively composition.

Beneath the western tower are the remains of a Romanesque portal which must have belonged to an older church; but to all intents and purposes St. Etienne is to-day a Gothic church after the true northern manner.

It was begun in 1273 under the direct influence of the impetus given to the Gothic development by the erection of Notre Dame d'Amiens, and in all its parts,—choir, transept, and nave,—its development and growth have been most pleasing.

From the point of view of situation this cathedral is more attractively placed than many another which is located in a city which perforce must be ranked as a purely commercial and manufacturing town. From the Pont Neuf, which crosses the Vienne, the view over the gardens of the bishop's palace and the Quai de l'Evêché is indeed grand and imposing.

Chronologically the parts of this imposing church run nearly the gamut of the Gothic note—from the choir of the thirteenth, the transepts of the fourteenth and fifteenth, to the nave of the early sixteenth centuries. This nave has only latterly been completed, and is preceded by the elegant octagonal tower before mentioned. This clocher is a thirteenth-century work, and rises something over two hundred and four feet above the pavement.

In the north transept is a grand rose window after the true French mediæval excellence and magnitude, showing once again the northern spirit under which the cathedral-builders of Limoges worked.

In reality the façade of this north transept might be called the true front of the cathedral. The design of its portal is elaborate and elegant. A series of carved figures in stone are set against the wall of the choir just beyond the transept. They depict the martyrdom of St. Etienne.

The interior will first of all be remarked for its abundant and splendidly coloured glass. This glass is indeed of the quality which in a later day has often been lacking. It dates from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, except a part, readily discernible, which is of the nineteenth.

The remains of a precious choir-screen are yet very beautiful. It has been removed from its original position and its stones arranged in much disorder. Still it is a manifestly satisfying example of the art of the stone-carver of the Renaissance period. It dates from 1543. Bishop Langeac (d. 1541), who caused it to be originally erected, is buried close by, beneath a contemporary monument. Bishops Bernard Brun (d. 1349) and Raynaud de la Porte (d. 1325) have also Renaissance monuments which will be remarked for their excess of ornament and elaboration.

In the crypt of the eleventh century, presumably the remains of the Romanesque church whose portal is beneath the western tower, are some remarkable wall paintings thought to be of a contemporary era. If so, they must rank among the very earliest works of their class.

The chief treasures of the cathedral are a series of enamels which are set into a reredos (the canon's altar in the sacristy). They are the work of the master, Noel Loudin, in the seventeenth century.

In the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is a monumental fountain in bronze and porcelain, further enriched after the manner of the mediæval enamel workers.

The collection de ceramique in the Musée is unique in France, or for that matter in all the world.

The ateliers de Limoges were first established in the thirteenth century by the monks of the Abbey of Solignac.

A remarkable example of the work of the émailleurs limousins is the twelfth-century reliquary of Thomas à Becket, one-time Archbishop of Canterbury.

Reliquary of Thomas à Becket Reliquary of Thomas à Becket

At the rear of the cathedral the Vienne is crossed by the thirteenth-century bridge of St. Etienne. Like the cathedrals, châteaux, and city walls, the old bridges of France, where they still remain, are masterworks of their kind. To connect them more closely with the cause of religion, it is significant that they mostly bore the name of, and were dedicated to, some local saint.



Though an ancient Christianizing centre, St. Flour is not possessed of a cathedral which gives it any great rank as a "cathedral town."

The bishopric was founded in 1318, by Raimond de Vehens, and the present cathedral of St. Odilon is on the site of an ancient basilica. It was begun in 1375, dedicated in 1496, and finished—so far as a great church ever comes to its completion—in 1556.

Its exterior is strong and massive, but harmonious throughout. Its façade has three portals, flanked by two square towers, which are capped with modern couronnes.

The interior shows five small naves; that is, the nave proper, with two aisles on either side.

Beside the western doorway are somewhat scanty traces of mediæval mural paintings depicting Purgatory, while above is the conventionally disposed organ buffet.

A fine painting of the late French school is in one of the side chapels, and represents an incident from the life of St. Vincent de Paul. In another chapel is a bas-relief in stone of "The Last Judgment," reproduced from that which is yet to be seen in the north portal of Notre Dame de Reims. In the chapel of St. Anthony of Padua is a painting of the "Holy Family," and in another—that of Ste. Anne—a remarkable work depicting the "Martyred St. Symphorien at Autun."

In the lower ranges of the choir is some fine modern glass by Thévenot, while high above the second range is a venerated statue of Le Christ Noir.

From this catalogue it will be inferred that the great attractions of the cathedral at St. Flour are mainly the artistic accessories with which it has been embellished.

There are no remarkably beautiful or striking constructive elements, though the plan is hardy and not unbeautiful. It ranks among cathedrals well down in the second class, but it is a highly interesting church nevertheless.

A chapel in the nave gives entrance to the eighteenth-century episcopal palace, which is in no way notable except for its beautifully laid-out gardens and terraces. The sacristy was built in 1382 of the remains of the ancient Château de St. Flour, called De Brezons, which was itself originally built in the year 1000.



The chief architectural feature of this ancient town—the Mediolanum Santonum, chief town of the Santoni—is not its rather uninspiring cathedral (rebuilt in 1585), nor yet the church of St. Eutrope (1081—96) with its underground crypt—the largest in France.

As a historical monument of rank far more interest centres around the Arc de Triomphe of Germanicus, which originally formed a part of the bridge which spans the Charente at this point. It was erected in the reign of Nero by Caius Julius Rufus, a priest of Roma and Augustus, in memory of Germanicus, Tiberius, his uncle, and his father, Drusus.

The bridge itself, or what was left of it, was razed in the nineteenth century, which is of course to be regretted. A monument which could have endured a matter of eighteen hundred years might well have been left alone to takes its further chances with Father Time. Since then the bridge has been rebuilt on its former site, a procedure which makes the hiatus and the false position of the arch the more apparent. The cloister of the cathedral, in spite of the anachronism, is in the early Gothic manner, and the campanile is of the fifteenth century.

Saintes became a bishopric, in the province of Bordeaux, in the third century. St. Eutrope—whose name is perpetuated in a fine Romanesque church of the city—was the first bishop. The year 1793 saw the suppression of the diocesan seat here, in favour of Angoulême.

In the main, the edifice is of a late date, in that it was entirely rebuilt in the latter years of the sixteenth century, after having suffered practical devastation in the religious wars of that time.

The first mention of a cathedral church here is of a structure which took form in 1117—the progenitor of the present edifice. Such considerable repairs as were necessary were undertaken in the fifteenth century, but the church seen to-day is almost entirely of the century following.

The most remarkable feature of note, in connection with this ci-devant cathedral, is unquestionably the luxurious flamboyant tower of the fifteenth century.

This really fine tower is detached from the main structure and occupies the site of the church erected by Charlemagne in fulfilment of his vow to Pepin, his father, after defeating Gaiffre, Duc d'Aquitaine.

In the interior two of the bays of the transepts—which will be readily noted—date from the twelfth century, while the nave is of the fifteenth, and the vaulting of nave and choir—hardy and strong in every detail—is, in part, as late as the mid-eighteenth century.

The Église de St. Eutrope, before mentioned, is chiefly of the twelfth century, though its crypt, reputedly the largest in all France, is of a century earlier.

Saintes is renowned to lovers of ceramics as being the birthplace of Bernard Pallisy, the inventor of the pottery glaze; and is the scene of many of his early experiments. A statue to his memory adorns the Place Bassompierre near the Arc de Triomphe.



The charm of Tulle's cathedral is in its imposing and dominant character, rather than in any inherent grace or beauty which it possesses.

It is not a beautiful structure; it is not even picturesquely disposed; it is grim and gaunt, and consists merely of a nave in the severe Romanesque-Transition manner, surmounted by a later and non-contemporary tower and spire.

In spite of this it looms large from every view-point in the town, and is so lively a component of the busy life which surrounds it that it is—in spite of its severity of outline—a very appealing church edifice in more senses than one.

de TULLE....

Its tall, finely-proportioned tower and spire, which indeed is the chief attribute of grace and symmetry, is of the fourteenth century, and, though plain and primitive in its outlines, is far more pleasing than the crocketed and rococo details which in a later day were composed into something which was thought to be a spire.

In the earliest days of its history, this rather bare and cold church was a Benedictine monastery whose primitive church dated as far back as the seventh century. There are yet remains of a cloister which may have belonged to the early church of this monastic house, and as such is highly interesting, and withal pleasing.

The bishopric was founded in 1317 by Arnaud de St. Astier. The Revolution caused much devastation here in the precincts of this cathedral, which was first stripped of its trésor, and finally of its dignity, when the see was abolished.



Angoulême is often first called to mind by its famous or notorious Duchesse, whose fame is locally perpetuated by a not very suitable column, erected in the Promenade Beaulieu in 1815. There is certainly a wealth of romance to be conjured up from the recollection of the famous Counts of Angoulême and their adherents, who made their residence in the ancient château which to-day forms in part the Hôtel de Ville, and in part the prison. Here in this château was born Marguerite de Valois, the Marguerite of Marguerites, as François I. called her; here took welcome shelter, Marie de Medici after her husband's assassination; and here, too, much more of which history tells.


What most histories do not tell is that the cathedral of St. Pierre d'Angoulême, with the cathedral of St. Front at Périgueux and Notre Dame de Poitiers, ranks at the very head of that magnificent architectural style known as Aquitanian.

St. Ansone was the first bishop of the diocese—in the third century. The see was then, as now, a suffragan of Bordeaux. Religious wars, here as throughout Aquitaine, were responsible for a great unrest among the people, as well as the sacrilege and desecration of church property.

The most marked spoliation was at the hands of the Protestant Coligny, the effects of whose sixteenth-century ravages are yet visible in the cathedral.

A monk—Michel Grillet—was hung to a mulberry-tree,—which stood where now is the Place du Murier (mulberry),—by Coligny, who was reviled thus in the angry dying words of the monk: "You shall be thrown out of the window like Jezebel, and shall be ignominiously dragged through the streets." This prophecy did not come true, but Coligny died an inglorious death in 1572, at the instigation of the Duc de Guise.

This cathedral ranks as one of the most curious in France, and, with its alien plan and details, has ever been the object of the profound admiration of all who have studied its varied aspects.

Mainly it is a twelfth-century edifice throughout, in spite of the extensive restorations of the nineteenth century, which have eradicated many crudities that might better have been allowed to remain. It is ranked by the Ministère des Beaux Arts as a Monument Historique.

The west front, in spite of the depredations before, during, and after the Revolution, is notable for its rising tiers of round-headed arches seated firmly on proportionate though not gross columns, its statued niches, the rich bas-reliefs of the tympanum of its portal, the exquisite arabesques, of lintel, frieze, and archivolt, and, above all, its large central arch with Vesica piscis, and the added decorations of emblems of the evangels and angels. In addition to all this, which forms a gallery of artistic details in itself, the general disposition of parts is luxurious and remarkable.

As a whole, St. Pierre is commonly credited as possessing the finest Lombard detail to be found in the north; some say outside of Italy. Certainly it is prodigious in its splendour, whatever may be one's predilections for or against the expression of its art.

The church follows in general plan the same distinctive style. Its tower, too, is Lombard, likewise the rounded apside, and—though the church is of the elongated Latin or cruciform ground-plan—its possession of a great central dome (with three others above the nave—and withal aisleless) points certainly to the great domed churches of the Lombard plain for its ancestry.

The western dome is of the eleventh century, the others of the twelfth. Its primitiveness has been more or less distorted by later additions, made necessary by devastation in the sixteenth century, but it ranks to-day, with St. Front at Périgueux, as the leading example of the style known as Aquitanian.

Above the western portal is a great window, very tall and showing in its glass a "Last Judgment."

A superb tower ends off the croisillon on the north and rises to the height of one hundred and ninety-seven feet. "Next to the west front and the domed roofing of the interior, this tower ranks as the third most curious and remarkable feature of this unusual church." This tower, in spite of its appealing properties, is curiously enough not the original to which the previous descriptive lines applied; but their echo may be heard to-day with respect to the present tower, which is a reconstruction, of the same materials, and after the same manner, so far as possible, as the original.

As the most notable and peculiar details of the interior, will be remarked the cupolas of the roof, and the lantern at the crossing, which is pierced by twelve windows.

For sheer beauty, and its utile purpose as well, this great lanthorn is further noted as being most unusual in either the Romanesque or Gothic churches of France.

The choir is apse-ended and is surrounded by four chapels of no great prominence or beauty.

The south transept has a tour in embryo, which, had it been completed, would doubtless have been the twin of that which terminates the transept on the north.

The foundations of the episcopal residence, which is immediately beside the cathedral (restored in the nineteenth century), are very ancient. In its garden stands a colossal statue to Comte Jean, the father of François I.

Angoulême was the residence of the Black Prince after the battle of Poitiers, though no record remains as to where he may have lodged. A house in the Rue de Genève has been singled out in the past as being where John Calvin lived in 1533, but it is not recognizable to-day.



"Les Bourbonnais sont aimables, mais vains, légers et facilement oublieux, avec rien d'excessif, rien d'exubérance dans leur nature."

André Rolland.

Until he had travelled through Bourbonnais, "the sweetest part of France—in the hey-day of the vintage," said Sterne, "I never felt the distress of plenty."

This is an appropriate enough observation to have been promulgated by a latter-day traveller. Here the abundance which apparently pours forth for every one's benefit knows no diminution one season from another. One should not allow his pen to ramble to too great an extent in this vein, or he will soon say with Sterne: "Just Heaven! it will fill up twenty volumes,—and alas, there are but a few small pages!"


It suffices, then, to reiterate, that in this plenteous land of mid-France there is, for all classes of man and beast, an abundance and excellence of the harvest of the soil which makes for a fondness to linger long within the confines of this region. Thus did the far-seeing Bourbons, who, throughout the country which yet is called of them, set up many magnificent establishments and ensconced themselves and their retainers among the comforts of this world to a far greater degree than many other ruling houses of mediæval times. Perhaps none of the great names, among the long lists of lords, dukes, and kings, whose lands afterward came to make the solidarity of the all-embracing monarchy, could be accused of curtailing the wealth of power and goods which conquest or bloodshed could secure or save for them.

The power of the Bourbons endured, like the English Tudors, but a century and a half beyond the period of its supremacy; whence, from its maturity onward, it rotted and was outrooted bodily.

The literature of Moulins, for the English reading and speaking world, appears to be an inconsiderable quantity. Certain romances have been woven about the ducal château, and yet others concerning the all-powerful Montmorencies, besides much history, which partakes generously of the components of literary expression.

In the country round about—if the traveller has come by road, or for that matter by "train omnibus"—if he will but keep his eyes open, he will have no difficulty in recognizing this picture: "A little farmhouse, surrounded with about twenty acres of vineyard, and about as much corn—and close to the house, on one side, a potagerie of an acre and a half, full of everything which could make plenty in a French peasant's house—and on the other side a little wood, which furnished wherewithal to dress it."

To continue, could one but see into that house, the picture would in no small degree differ from this: "A family consisting of an old, gray-headed man and his wife, with five or six sons and sons-in-law, and their several wives, and a joyous genealogy out of them ... all sitting down together to their lentil soup; a large wheaten loaf in the middle of the table; and a flagon of wine at each end of it, and promised joy throughout the various stages of the repast."

Where in any other than this land of plenty, for the peasant and prosperous alike, could such a picture be drawn of the plenitude which surrounds the home life of a son of the soil and his nearest kin? Such an equipment of comfort and joy not only makes for a continuous and placid contentment, but for character and ambition; in spite of all that harum-scarum Jeremiahs may proclaim out of their little knowledge and less sympathy with other affairs than their own. No individualism is proclaimed, but it is intimated, and the reader may apply the observation wherever he may think it belongs.

Moulins is the capital of the Bourbonnais—the name given to the province and the people alike. The derivation of the word Bourbon is more legendary than historical, if one is to give any weight to the discovery of a tablet at Bourbonne-les-Bains, in 1830, which bore the following dedication:


Its later application to the land which sheltered the race is elucidated by a French writer, thus:

"Considering that the names of all the cities and towns known as des sources d'eaux thermales commence with either the prefix Bour or Bor, indicates a common origin of the word ... from the name of the divinity which protects the waters."

This is so plausible and picturesque a conjecture that it would seem to be true.

Archæologists have singled out from among the most beautiful chapelles seigneuriales the one formerly contained in the ducal palace of the Bourbons at Moulins. This formed, of course, a part of that gaunt, time-worn fabric which faces the westerly end of the cathedral.

Little there is to-day to suggest this splendour, and for such one has to look to those examples yet to be seen at Chambord or Chenonceaux, or that of the Maison de Jacques Cœur at Bourges, with which, in its former state, this private chapel of the Bourbons was a contemporary.

The other chief attraction of Moulins is the theatrical Mausolée de Henri de Montmorency, a seventeenth-century work which is certainly gorgeous and splendid in its magnificence, if not in its æsthetic value as an art treasure.

The fresh, modern-looking cathedral of Notre Dame de Moulins is a more ancient work than it really looks, though in its completed form it dates only from the late nineteenth century, when the indefatigable Viollet-le-Duc erected the fine twin towers and completed the western front.

The whole effect of this fresh-looking edifice is of a certain elegance, though in reality of no great luxuriousness.

The portal is deep but unornamented, and the rose window above is of generous design, though not actually so great in size as at first appears. Taken tout ensemble this west front—of modern design and workmanship—is far more expressive of the excellent and true proportions of the mediæval workers than is usually the case.

The spires are lofty (312 feet) and are decidedly the most beautiful feature of the entire design.

The choir, the more ancient portion (1465-1507), expands into a more ample width than the nave and has a curiously squared-off termination which would hardly be described as an apside, though the effect is circular when viewed from within. The choir, too, rises to a greater height than the nave, and, though there is no very great discrepancy in style between the easterly and westerly ends, the line of demarcation is readily placed. The square flanking chapels of the choir serve to give an ampleness to the ambulatory which is unusual, and in the exterior present again a most interesting arrangement and effect.

The cathedral gives on the west on the Place du Château, with the bare, broken wall of the ducal château immediately en face, and the Gendarmerie, which occupies a most interestingly picturesque Renaissance building, is immediately to the right.

The interior arrangements of this brilliant cathedral church are quite as pleasing and true as the exterior. There is no poverty in design or decoration, and no overdeveloped luxuriance, except for the accidence of the Renaissance tendencies of its time.

There is no flagrant offence committed, however, and the ambulatory of the choir and its queer overhanging gallery at the rear of the altar are the only unusual features from the conventional decorated Gothic plan; if we except the baldachino which covers the altar-table, and which is actually hideous in its enormity.

The bishop's throne, curiously enough,—though the custom is, it appears, very, very old,—is placed behind the high-altar.

The triforium and clerestory of the choir have gracefully heightened arches supported by graceful pillars, which give an effect of exceeding lightness.

In the nave the triforium is omitted, and the clerestory only overtops the pillars of nave and aisles.

The transepts are not of great proportions, but are not in any way attenuated.

Under the high-altar is a "Holy Sepulchre" of the sixteenth century, which is penetrated by an opening which gives on the ambulatory of the choir.

There is a bountiful display of coloured glass of the Renaissance period, and, in the sacristy, a triptych attributed to Ghirlandajo.

There are no other artistic accessories of note, and the cathedral depends, in the main, for its satisfying qualities in its general completeness and consistency.



"Under the sun of the Midi I have seen the Pyrenees and the Alps, crowned in rose and silver, but I best love Auvergne and its bed of gorse."

Pierre de Nolhac.

Le Puy has been called—by a discerning traveller—and rightly enough, too, in the opinion of most persons—"the most picturesque spot in the world." Whether every visitor thereto will endorse this unqualifiedly depends somewhat on his view-point, and still more on his ability to discriminate.

Le Puy certainly possesses an unparalleled array of what may as well be called rare attractions. These are primarily the topographical, architectural, and, first, last, and all times, picturesque elements which only a blind man could fail to diagnose as something unique and not to be seen elsewhere.

de LE PUY.
de LE PUY.

In the first category are the extraordinary pinnacles of volcanic rock with which the whole surrounding landscape is peopled; in the second, the city's grand architectural monuments, cathedrals, churches, monastery and the château of Polignac; while thirdly, the whole aspect is irritatingly picturesque to the lover of topographical charm and feature. Here the situation of the city itself, in a basin of surrounding peaks, its sky-piercing, turreted rocks, and the general effect produced by its architectural features all combine to present emotions which a large catalogue were necessary to define.

Moreover, Le Puy is the gateway to a hitherto almost unknown region to the English-speaking tourist. At least it would have been unknown but for the eulogy given it by the wandering Robert Louis Stevenson, who, in his "Travels with a Donkey," (not "On a Donkey,"—mark the distinction), has made the Cevennes known, at least as a nodding acquaintance, to—well, a great many who would never have consciously realized that there was such a place.

Le Puy is furthermore as yet unspoiled by the "conducted tourist," and lives the same life that it has for many generations. Electric trams have come to be sure, and certain improvements in the way of boulevards and squares have been laid out, but, in the main, the narrow, tortuous streets which ascend to its cathedral-crowned height are much as they always were; and the native pays little heed to the visitor, of which class not many ever come to the city—perhaps for the reason that Le Puy is not so very accessible by rail. Both by the line which descends the Rhône valley and its parallel line from Paris to Nîmes, one has to branch off, and is bound to lose from three to six hours—or more, at some point or other, making connections. This is as it should be—in spite of the apparent retrogression.

When one really does get to Le Puy nothing should satisfy him but to follow the trail of Stevenson's donkey into the heart of the Cevennes, that wonderful country which lies to the southward, and see and know for himself some of the things which that delectable author set forth in the record of his travels.

Monastier, Le Cheylard, La Bastide, Notre Dame des Neiges, Mont Mézenac, and many more delightful places are, so far as personal knowledge goes, a sealed book to most folk; and after one has visited them for himself, he may rest assured they will still remain a sealed book to the mass.

The ecclesiastical treasures of Le Puy are first and foremost centred around its wonderful, though bizarre, Romanesque cathedral of Notre Dame.

Some have said that this cathedral church dates from the fifth century. Possibly this is so, but assuredly there is no authority which makes a statement which is at all convincing concerning any work earlier than the tenth century.

Le Puy's first bishop was St. Georges,—in the third century,—at which time, as now, the diocese was a suffragan of Bourges.

The cathedral itself is perched on a hilltop behind which rises an astonishing crag or pinnacle,—the rocher Corneille, which, in turn, is surmounted by a modern colossal bronze figure, commonly called Notre Dame de France. The native will tell you that it is called "the Virgin of Le Puy." Due allowance for local pride doubtless accounts for this. Its height is fifty feet, and while astonishingly impressive in many ways, is, as a work of art, without beauty in itself.

Le Puy

Le Puy

There is a sort of subterranean or crypt-like structure, beneath the westerly end of the cathedral, caused by the extreme slope of the rock upon which the choir end is placed. One enters by a stairway of sixty steps, which is beneath the parti-coloured façade of the twelfth century. It is very striking and must be a unique approach to a cathedral; the entrance here being two stories below that of the pavement of nave and choir. This porch of three round-arched naves is wholly unusual. Entrance to the main body of the church is finally gained through the transept.

The whole structure is curiously kaleidoscopic, with blackish and dark brown tints predominating, but alternating—in the west façade, which has been restored in recent times—with bands of a lighter and again a darker stone. It has been called by a certain red-robed mentor of travel-lore an ungainly, venerable, but singular edifice: quite a non-committal estimate, and one which, like most of its fellows, is worse than a slander. It is most usually conceded by French authorities—who might naturally be supposed to know their subject—that it is very nearly the most genuinely interesting exposition of a local manner of church-building extant; and as such the cathedral at Le Puy merits great consideration.

The choir is the oldest portion, and is probably not of later date than the tenth century. The glass therein is modern. It has a possession, a "miraculous virgin,"—whose predecessor was destroyed in the fury of the Revolution,—which is supposed to work wonders upon those who bestow an appropriate votive offering. To the former shrine came many pilgrims, numbering among them, it is said rather indefinitely and doubtfully, "several popes and the following kings: Louis VII., Philippe-Auguste, Philippe-le-Hardi, Charles VI., Charles VII., Louis XI., and Charles VIII."

To-day, as if doubtful of the shrine's efficacy, the pilgrims are few in number and mostly of the peasant class.

The bays of the nave are divided by round-headed arches, but connected with the opposing bay by the ogival variety.

The transepts have apsidal terminations, as is much more frequent south of the Loire than in the north of France, but still of sufficient novelty to be remarked here. The east end is rectangular—which is really a very unusual attribute in any part of France, only two examples elsewhere standing out prominently—the cathedrals at Laon and Dol-de-Bretagne. The cloister of Notre Dame, small and simple though it be, is of a singular charm and tranquillity.

With the tower or cupola of this cathedral the architects of Auvergne achieved a result very near the perfectionnement of its style. Like all of the old-time clochers erected in this province—anterior to Gothic—it presents a great analogy to Byzantine origin, though, in a way, not quite like it either. Still the effect of columns and pillars, in both the interior construction and exterior decoration of these fine towers, forms something which suggests, at least, a development of an ideal which bears little, or no, relation to the many varieties of campanile, beffroi, tour or clocher seen elsewhere in France. The spire, as we know it elsewhere, a dominant pyramidal termination, the love of which Mistral has said is the foundation of patriotism, is in this region almost entirely wanting; showing that the influence, from whatever it may have sprung, was no copy of anything which had gone before, nor even the suggestion of a tendency or influence toward the pointed Gothic, or northern style. Therefore the towers, like most other features of this style, are distinctly of the land of its environment—Auvergnian.

This will call to mind, to the American, the fact that Trinity Church in Boston is manifestly the most distinctive application, in foreign lands, of the form and features of the manner of church-building of the Auvergne.

Particularly is this to be noted by viewing the choir exterior with its inlaid or geometrically planned stonework: a feature which is Romanesque if we go back far enough, but which is distinctly Auvergnian in its mediæval use.

For sheer novelty, before even the towering bronze statue of the Virgin, which overtops the cathedral, must be placed that other needle-like basaltic eminence which is crowned by a tiny chapel dedicated to St. Michel.

This "aiguille," as it is locally known, rises something over two hundred and fifty feet from the river-bed at its base; like a sharp cone, dwindling from a diameter of perhaps five hundred feet at its base to a scant fifty at its apex.

St. Michel has always had a sort of vested proprietorship in such pinnacles as this, and this tiny chapel in his honour was the erection of a prelate of the diocese of Le Puy in the tenth century. The chapel is Romanesque, octagonal, and most curious; with its isolated situation,—only reached by a flight of many steps cut in the rock,—and its tesselated stone pavements, its mosaic in basalt of the portal, and its few curious sculptures in stone. As a place of pilgrimage for a twentieth-century tourist it is much more appealing than the Virgin-crowned rocher Corneille; each will anticipate no inconsiderable amount of physical labour, which, however, is the true pilgrim spirit.

The château of Polignac compels attention, and it is not so very foreign to church affairs after all; the house of the name gave to the court of Louis XIV. a cardinal.

To-day this one-time feudal stronghold is but a mere ruin. The Revolution finished it, as did that fury many another architectural glory of France.

The Black Virgin, Le Puy The Black Virgin, Le Puy



Clermont-Ferrand is the hub from which radiates in the season,—from April to October,—and in all directions, the genuine French touriste. He is a remarkable species of traveller, and he apportions to himself the best places in the char-à bancs and the most convenient seats at table d'hôte with a discrimination that is perfection. He is not much interested in cathedrals, or indeed in the twin city of Clermont-Ferrand itself, but rather his choice lies in favour of Mont Doré, Puy de Dôme, Royat, St. Nectaire, or a dozen other alluring tourist resorts in which the neighbouring volcanic region abounds.

By reason of this—except for its hotels and cafés—Clermont-Ferrand is justly entitled to rank as one of the most ancient and important centres of Christianity in France.


Its cathedral is not of the local manner of building: it is of manifest Norman example. But the Église Notre Dame du Port is Auvergnian of the most profound type, and withal, perhaps more appealing than the cathedral itself. Furthermore the impulse of the famous crusades first took form here under the fervent appeal of Urban II., who was in the city at the Council of the Church held in 1095. Altogether the part played by this city of mid-France in the affairs of the Christian faith was not only great, but most important and far-reaching in its effect.

In its cathedral are found to a very considerable extent those essentials to the realization of the pure Gothic style, which even Sir Christopher Wren confessed his inability to fully comprehend.

It is a pleasant relief, and a likewise pleasant reminder of the somewhat elaborate glories of the Isle of France, to come upon an edifice which at least presents a semblance to the symmetrical pointed Gothic of the north. The more so in that it is surrounded by Romanesque and local types which are peers among their class.

Truly enough it is that such churches as Notre Dame du Port, the cathedral at Le Puy, and the splendid series of Romanesque churches at Poitiers are as interesting and as worthy of study as the resplendent modern Gothic. On the other hand, the transition to the baseness of the Renaissance,—without the intervention of the pointed style,—while not so marked here as elsewhere, is yet even more painfully impressed upon one.

The contrast between the Romanesque style, which was manifestly a good style, and the Renaissance, which was palpably bad, suggests, as forcibly as any event of history, the change of temperament which came upon the people, from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries.

This cathedral is possessed of two fine western towers (340 feet in height), graceful in every proportion, hardy without being clumsy, symmetrical without weakness, and dwindling into crowning spires after a manner which approaches similar works at Bordeaux and Quimper. These examples are not of first rank, but, if not of masterful design, are at least acceptable exponents of the form they represent.

These towers, as well as the western portal, are, however, of a very late date. They are the work of Viollet-le-Duc in the latter half of the nineteenth century, and indicate—if nothing more—that, where a good model is used, a modern Gothic work may still betray the spirit of antiquity. This gifted architect was not so successful with the western towers of the abbey church of St. Ouen at Rouen. Externally the cathedral at Clermont-Ferrand shows a certain lack of uniformity.

Its main fabric, of a black volcanic stone, dates from 1248 to 1265. At this time the work was in charge of one Jean Deschamps.

The church was not, however, consecrated until nearly a century later, and until the completion of the west front remained always an unfinished work which received but scant consideration from lovers of church architecture.

The whole structure was sorely treated at the Revolution, was entirely stripped of its ornaments and what monuments it possessed, and was only saved from total destruction by a subterfuge advanced by a local magistrate, who suggested that the edifice might be put to other than its original use.

The first two bays of the nave are also of nineteenth-century construction. This must account for the frequent references of a former day to the general effect of incompleteness. To-day it is a coherent if not a perfect whole, though works of considerable magnitude are still under way.

The general effect of the interior is harmonious, though gloomy as to its lighting, and bare as to its walls.

The vault rises something over a hundred feet above the pavement, and the choir platform is considerably elevated. The aisles of the nave are doubled, and very wide.

The joints of pier and wall have been newly "pointed," giving an impression of a more modern work than the edifice really is.

The glass of the nave and choir is of a rare quality and unusually abundant. How it escaped the fury of the Revolution is a mystery.

There are two fifteenth-century rose windows in the transepts, and a more modern example in the west front, the latter being decidedly inferior to the others. The glass of the choir is the most beautiful of all, and is of the time of Louis IX., whose arms, quartered with those of Spain, are shown therein. The general effect of this coloured glass is not of the supreme excellence of that at Chartres, but the effect of mellowness, on first entering, is in every way more impressive than that of any other cathedral south of the Loire.

The organ buffet has, in this instance, been cut away to allow of the display of the modern rosace. This is a most thoughtful consideration of the attributes of a grand window; which is obviously that of giving a pleasing effect to an interior, rather than its inclusion in the exterior scheme of decoration.

In the choir is a retable of gilded and painted wood, representing the life of St. Crépinien, a few tombs, and in the chapels some frescoes of the thirteenth century. There is the much-appreciated astronomical clock—a curiosity of doubtful artistic work and symbolism—in one of the transepts.

A statue of Pope Urban II. is en face to the right of the cathedral.

At the Council of 1095 Urban II. preached for the first crusade to avenge the slaughter "of pilgrims, princes, and bishops," which had taken place at Romola in Palestine, and to regain possession of Jerusalem and the Holy Sepulchre from the Turkish Sultan, Ortock.

The enthusiasm of the pontiff was so great that the masses forthwith entered fully into the spirit of the act, the nobles tearing their red robes into shreds to form the badge of the crusader's cross, which was given to all who took the vow.

By command of the Pope, every serf who took the cross was to obtain his liberty from his overlord. This fact, perhaps, more than any other led to the swelled ranks of the first crusade under Peter the Hermit.

The rest is history, though really much of its written chronicle is really romance.

Clermont was a bishopric in the third century, with St. Austremoine as its first bishop. The diocese is to-day a suffragan of Bourges.

At the head of the Cours Sablon is a fifteenth-century fountain, executed to the order of a former bishop, Jacques d'Amboise.

The bibliothèque still preserves, among fifty thousand volumes and eleven hundred MSS., an illuminated folio Bible of the twelfth century, a missal which formerly belonged to Pope Clement VI., and a ninth-century manuscript of the monk, Gregory of Tours.

Near the cathedral in the Rue de Petit Gras is the birthplace of the precocious Blaise Pascal, who next to Urban II.—if not even before him—is perhaps Clermont's most famous personage. A bust of the celebrated writer is let into the wall which faces the Passage Vernines, and yet another adorns the entrance to the bibliothèque; and again another—a full-length figure this time—is set about with growing plants, in the Square Blaise Pascal. Altogether one will judge that Pascal is indeed the most notable figure in the secular history of the city. This most original intellect of his time died in 1662, at the early age of thirty-nine.



Lodève, seated tightly among the mountains, near the confluence of the rivers Solondre and Lergue, not far from the Cevennes and the borders of the Gévaudan, was a bishopric, suffragan of Narbonne, as early as the beginning of the fourth century.

It had been the capital of the Gallic tribe of the Volsques, then a pagan Roman city, and finally was converted to Christianity in the year 323 by the apostle St. Flour, who founded the bishopric, which, with so many others, was suppressed at the Revolution.

The city suffered greatly from the wars of the Goths, the Albigenses, and later the civil wars of the Protestants and Catholics. The bishops of Lodève were lords by virtue of the fact that the title was bought from the viscounts whose honour it had previously held. St. Guillem Ley Desert (O. F.), a famous abbey of the Benedictines, founded by an ancestor of the Prince of Orange, is near by.

The ancient cathedral of St. Fulcran is situated in the haute-ville and dates, as to its foundation walls, from the middle of the tenth century. The reconstructed present-day edifice is mainly of the thirteenth century, and as an extensive work of its time is entitled to rank with many of the cathedral churches which survived the Revolution. By the end of the sixteenth century, the last remaining work and alterations were completed, and one sees therefore a fairly consistent mediæval church. The west façade is surmounted by tourelles which are capped with a defending mâchicoulis, presumably for defence from attack from the west, as this battlement could hardly have been intended for mere ornament, decorative though it really is. The interior height rises to something approximating eighty feet, and is imposing to a far greater degree than many more magnificent and wealthy churches.

The choir is truly elegant in its proportions and decorations, its chief ornament being that of the high-altar, and the white marble lions which flank the stalls. From the choir one enters the ruined cloister of the fifteenth century; which, if not remarkable in any way, is at least distinctive and a sufficiently uncommon appendage of a cathedral church to be remarked.

A marble tomb of a former bishop,—Plantavit de la Pause,—a distinguished prelate and bibliophile, is also in the choir. This monument is a most worthy artistic effort, and shows two lions lying at the foot of a full-length figure of the churchman. It dates from 1651, and, though of Renaissance workmanship, its design and sculpture—like most monumental work of its era—are far ahead of the quality of craftsmanship displayed by the builders and architects of the same period.

The one-time episcopal residence is now occupied by the hôtel de ville, the tribunal, and the caserne de gendarmerie. As a shelter for civic dignity this is perhaps not a descent from its former glory, but as a caserne it is a shameful debasement; not, however, as mean as the level to which the papal palace at Avignon has fallen.

The guide-book information—which, be it said, is not disputed or reviled here—states that the city's manufactories supply surtout des draps for the army; but the church-lover will get little sustenance for his refined appetite from this kernel of matter-of-fact information.

Lodève is, however, a charming provincial town, with two ancient bridges crossing its rivers, a ruined château, Montbrun, and a fine promenade which overlooks the river valleys round about.


The Rhône Valley



The knowledge of the geographer Ptolemy, who wrote in the second century with regard to the Rhône, was not so greatly at fault as with respect to other topographical features, such as coasts and boundaries.

Perhaps the fact that Gaul had for so long been under Roman dominion had somewhat to do with this.

He gives, therefore, a tolerably correct account as to this mighty river, placing its sources in the Alps, and tracing its flow through the lake Lemannus (Leman) to Lugdunum (Lyon); whence, turning sharply to the southward, it enters the Mediterranean south of Arles. Likewise, he correctly adds that the upper river is joined with the combined flow of the Doubs and Saône, but commits the error of describing their source to be also in the Alps.

Philip Gilbert Hamerton, who knew these parts well,—his home was near Autun,—has described the confluence of the Saône and Rhône thus:

"The width and depth of the two rivers are equal, but the swift-flowing Rhône discharges twice the volume of water of the slow-running Saône. They also differ remarkably in colour. The Saône is emerald-green and the Rhône blue-green. Here the minor river loses its name and character, and, by an unusual process, the slowest and most navigable stream in Europe joins the swiftest and least navigable. The Flumen Araris ceases and becomes the Rhodanus."

The volume of water which yearly courses down the Rhône is perhaps greater than would first appear, when, at certain seasons of the year, one sees a somewhat thin film of water gliding over a wide expanse of yellow sand and shingle.

Throughout, however, it is of generous width and at times rises in a true torrential manner: this when the spring freshets and melting Alpine snows are directed thither toward their natural outlet to the sea. "Rivers," said Blaise Pascal, "are the roads that move." Along the great river valleys of the Rhône, the Loire, the Seine, and the Rhine were made the first Roman roads, the prototypes of the present-day means of communication.

The development of civilization and the arts along these great pathways was rapid and extensive. Two of them, at least, gave birth to architectural styles quite differing from other neighbouring types: the Romain-Germanique—bordering along the Rhine and extending to Alsace and the Vosges; and the Romain-Bourguignon, which followed the valley of the Rhône from Bourgogne to the Mediterranean and the Italian frontier, including all Provence.

The true source of the Rhône is in the Pennine Alps, where, in consort with three other streams, the Aar, the Reuss, and the Ticino, it rises in a cloven valley close to the lake of Brienz, amid that huge jumble of mountain-tops, which differs so greatly from the popular conception of a mountain range.

Dauphiné and Savoie are to-day comparatively unknown by parlour-car travellers. Dauphiné, with its great historical associations, the wealth and beauty of its architecture, the magnificence of its scenery, has always had great attractions for the historian, the archæologist, and the scholar; to the tourist, however, even to the French tourist, it remained for many years a terra incognita. Yet no country could present the traveller with a more wonderful succession of ever-changing scenery, such a rich variety of landscape, ranging from verdant plain to mountain glacier, from the gay and picturesque to the sublime and terrible. Planted in the very heart of the French Alps, rising terrace above terrace from the lowlands of the Rhône to the most stupendous heights, Dauphiné may with reason claim to be the worthy rival of Switzerland.

The romantic associations of "La Grande Chartreuse"; of the charming valley towns of Sion and Aoste, famed alike in the history of Church and State; and of the more splendidly appointed cities of Grenoble and Chambéry, will make a new leaf in the books of most peoples' experiences.

The rivers Durance, Isère, and Drôme drain the region into the more ample basin of the Rhône, and the first of the three—for sheer beauty and romantic picturesqueness—will perhaps rank first in all the world.

The chief associations of the Rhône valley with the Church are centred around Lyon, Vienne, Avignon, and Arles. The associations of history—a splendid and a varied past—stand foremost at Orange, Nîmes, Aix, and Marseilles. It is not possible to deal here with the many pays et pagi of the basin of the Rhône.

Of all, Provence—that golden land—stands foremost and compels attention. One might praise it ad infinitum in all its splendid attributes and its glorious past, but one could not then do it justice; better far that one should sum it up in two words—"Mistral's world."

The popes and the troubadours combined to cast a glamour over the "fair land of Provence" which is irresistible. Here were architectural monuments, arches, bridges, aqueducts, and arenas as great and as splendid as the world has ever known. Aix-en-Provence, in King René's time, was the gayest capital of Europe, and the influence of its arts and literature spread to all parts.

To the south came first the Visigoths, then the conflicting and repelling Ostrogoths; between them soon to supplant the Gallo-Roman cultivation which had here grown so vigorously.

It was as late as the sixth century when the Ostrogoths held the brilliant sunlit city of Arles; when follows a history—applicable as well to most of all southern France—of many dreary centuries of discordant races, of varying religious faiths, and adherence now to one lord and master, and then to another.

Monuments of various eras remain; so numerously that one can rebuild for themselves much that has disappeared for ever: palaces as at Avignon, castles as at Tarascon and Beaucaire, and walled cities as at Aigues-Morte. What limitless suggestion is in the thought of the assembled throngs who peopled the tiers of the arenas and theatres of Arles and Nîmes in days gone by. The sensation is mostly to be derived, however, from thought and conjecture. The painful and nullifying "spectacles" and "courses des taureaux," which periodically hold forth to-day in these noble arenas, are mere travesties on their splendid functions of the past. Much more satisfying—and withal more artistic—are the theatrical representations in that magnificent outdoor theatre at Orange; where so recently as the autumn of 1903 was given a grand representation of dramatic art, with Madame Bernhardt, Coquelin, and others of the galaxy which grace the French stage to-day, taking part therein.

Provençal literature is a vast and varied subject, and the women of Arles—the true Arlesians of the poet and romancer—are astonishingly beautiful. Each of these subjects—to do them justice—would require much ink and paper. Daudet, in "Tartarin," has these opening words, as if no others were necessary in order to lead the way into a new world: "It was September and it was Provence." Frederic Mistral, in "Mirèio," has written the great modern epic of Provence, which depicts the life as well as the literature of the ancient troubadours. The "Fountain of Vaucluse" will carry one back still further in the ancient Provençal atmosphere; to the days of Petrarch and Laura, and the "little fish of Sorgues."

What the Romance language really was, authorities—if they be authorities—differ. Hence it were perhaps well that no attempt should be made here to define what others have failed to place, beyond this observation, which is gathered from a source now lost to recollection, but dating from a century ago at least:

"The southern or Romance language, the tongue of all the people who obeyed Charlemagne in the south of Europe, proceeded from the parent-vitiated Latin.

"The Provençaux assert, and the Spaniards deny, that the Spanish tongue is derived from the original Romance, though neither the Italians nor the French are willing to owe much to it as a parent, in spite of the fact that Petrarch eulogized it, and the troubadours as well.

"The Toulousans roundly assert that the Provençal is the root of all other dialects whatever (vide Cazeneuve). Most Spanish writers on the other hand insist that the Provençal is derived from the Spanish (vide Coleccion de Poesias Castellanas; Madrid, 1779)."

At all events the idiom, from whatever it may have sprung, took root, propagated and flourished in the land of the Provençal troubadours.

Whatever may have been the real extent of the influences which went out from Provence, it is certain that the marriage of Robert with Constance—daughter of the first Count of Provence, about the year 1000—was the period of a great change in manners and customs throughout the kingdom. Some even have asserted that this princess brought in her train the troubadours who spread the taste for poetry and its accompaniments throughout the north of France.

The "Provence rose," so celebrated in legend and literature, can hardly be dismissed without a word; though, in truth, the casual traveller will hardly know of its existence, unless he may have a sweet recollection of some rural maid, who, with sleeves carefully rolled up, stood before her favourite rose-tree, tenderly examining it, and driving away a buzzing fly or a droning wasp.

These firstlings of the season are tended with great pride. The distinctive "rose of Provence" is smaller, redder, and more elastic and concentric than the centifoliæ of the north, and for this reason, likely, it appears the more charming to the eye of the native of the north, who, if we are to believe the romanticists, is made a child again by the mere contemplation of this lovely flower.

The glory of this rich red "Provence rose" is in dispute between Provence and Provins, the ancient capital of La Brie; but the weight of the argument appears to favour the former.

Below Arles and Nîmes the Rhône broadens out into a many-fingered estuary, and mingles its Alpine flood with the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

The delta has been formed by the activity and energy of the river itself, from the fourth century—when it is known that Arles lay sixteen miles from the sea—till to-day, when it is something like thirty. This ceaseless carrying and filling has resulted in a new coast-line, which not only has changed the topography of the region considerably, but may be supposed to have actually worked to the commercial disadvantage of the country round about.

The annual prolongation of the shores—the reclaimed water-front—is about one hundred and sixty-four feet, hence some considerable gain is accounted for, but whether to the nation or the "squatter" statistics do not say.

The delta of the Rhône has been described by an expansive French writer as: "Something quite separate from the rest of France. It is a wedge of Greece and of the East thrust into Gaul. It came north a hundred (or more) years ago and killed the Monarchy. It caught the value in, and created the great war-song of the Republic."

There is a deal of subtlety in these few lines, and they are given here because of their truth and applicability.



"The cathedral at Chalons," says Philip Gilbert Hamerton,—who knew the entire region of the Saône better perhaps than any other Anglo-Saxon,—"has twin towers, which, in the evening, at a distance, recall Notre Dame (at Paris), and there are domes, too, as in the capital."

An imaginative description surely, and one that is doubtless not without truth were one able to first come upon this riverside city of mid-France in the twilight, and by boat from the upper river.

Chalons is an ideally situated city, with a placidness which the slow current of the Saône does not disturb. But its cathedral! It is no more like its Parisian compeer than it is like the Pyramids of Egypt.

In the first place, the cathedral towers are a weak, effeminate imitation of a prototype which itself must have been far removed from Notre Dame, and they have been bolstered and battened in a shameful fashion.

The cathedral at Chalons is about the most ancient-looking possession of the city, which in other respects is quite modern, and, aside from its charming situation and general attractiveness, takes no rank whatever as a centre of ancient or mediæval art.

Its examples of Gallic architecture are not traceable to-day, and of Roman remains it possesses none. As a Gallic stronghold,—it was never more than that,—it appealed to Cæsar merely as a base from which to advance or retreat, and its history at this time is not great or abundant.

A Roman wall is supposed to have existed, but its remains are not traceable to-day, though tradition has it that a quantity of its stones were transported by the monk Bénigne for the rotunda which he built at Dijon.

The city's era of great prosperity was the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when its fortifications were built up anew, its cathedral finished, and fourteen churches held forth.

From this high estate it has sadly fallen, and there is only its decrepit cathedral, rebuilt after a seventeenth-century fire, and two churches—one of them modern—to uphold its ecclesiastical dignity.

The towers of the cathedral are of the seventeenth century, but the so-called "Deanery Tower" is more ancient, and suggestive of much that is militant and very little that is churchly.

The interior has been restored, not wholly with success, but yet not wholly spoiled.

In plan and arrangement it is a simple and severe church, but acceptable enough when one contemplates changes made elsewhere. Here are to be seen no debased copies of Greek or Roman orders; which is something to be thankful for.

The arches of the nave and choir are strong and bold, but not of great spread. The height of the nave, part of which has come down from the thirteenth century, is ninety feet at least.

There are well-carved capitals to the pillars of the nave, and the coloured glass of the windows of triforium and clerestory is rich without rising to great beauty.

In general the style is decidedly a mélange, though the cathedral is entitled to rank as a Gothic example. Its length is 350 feet.

The maître-autel is one of the most elegant in France.

Modern improvement has cleared away much that was picturesque, but around the cathedral are still left a few gabled houses, which serve to preserve something of the mediæval setting which once held it.

The courtyard and its dependencies at the base of the "Deanery Tower" are the chief artistic features. They appeal far more strongly than any general accessory of the cathedral itself, and suggest that they once must have been the components of a cloister.

The see was founded in the fifth century as a suffragan of Lyon.



The Mastieo of the Romans was not the Macon of to-day, though, by evolution, or corruption, or whatever the process may have been, the name has come down to us as referring to the same place. The former city did not border the river, but was seated on a height overlooking the Saône, which flows by the doors of the present city of Macon.

Its site is endowed with most of the attributes included in the definition of "commanding," and, though not grandly situated, is, from any riverside view-point, attractive and pleasing.

When it comes to the polygonal towers of its olden cathedral, this charming and pleasing view changes to that of one which is curious and interesting. The cathedral of St. Vincent is a battered old ruin, and no amount of restoration and rebuilding will ever endow it with any more deserving qualities.


The Revolution was responsible for its having withered away, as it was also for the abolishment of the see of Macon.

The towers stand to-day—lowered somewhat from their former proportions—gaunt and grim, and the rich Burgundian narthen, which lay between, has been converted—not restored, mark you—into an inferior sort of chapel.

The destruction that fell upon various parts of this old church might as well have been more sweeping and razed it to the ground entirely. The effect could not have been more disheartening.

Macon formerly had twelve churches. Now it has three—if we include this poor fragment of its one-time cathedral. Between the Revolution and the coronation of Napoleon I. the city was possessed of no place of worship.

Macon became an episcopal see, with Placide as its first bishop, in the sixth century. It was suppressed in 1790.

The bridge which crosses the river to the suburb of St. Laurent is credited as being the finest work of its kind crossing the Saône. Hamerton has said that "its massive arches and piers, wedge-shaped to meet the wind, are pleasant to contemplate after numerous festoons of wire carrying a roadway of planks." This bridge was formerly surmounted, at either end, with a castellated gateway, but, like many of these accessories elsewhere, they have disappeared.

The famous bridge at Cahors (shown elsewhere in this book) is the best example of such a bridge still existing in France.

As a "cathedral city," Macon will not take a high rank. The "great man" of Macon was Lamartine. His birthplace is shown to visitors, but its present appearance does not suggest the splendid appointments of its description in that worthy's memoirs.

Macon is the entrepôt of the abundant and excellent vin du Bourgogne, and the strictly popular repute of the city rests entirely on this fact.




The Lyonnais is the name given to that region lying somewhat to the westward of the city of Lyon. It is divided into three distinct parts, le Lyonnais proper, le Forez, and le Beaujolais. Its chief appellation comes from that of its chief city, which in turn is more than vague as to its etymology: Lugdunum we know, of course, and we can trace its evolution even unto the Anglicized Lyons, but when philologists, antiquarians, and "pedants of mere pretence" ask us to choose between le corbeaulougon, un eminencedounon, lone—an arm of a river, and dun the Celtic word for height, we are amazed, and are willing enough to leave the solving of the problem to those who will find a greater pleasure therein.

Lyon is a widely-spread city, of magnificent proportions and pleasing aspect, situated as it is on the banks of two majestic, though characteristically different rivers, the Rhône and the Saône.

In many respects it is an ideally laid-out city, and the scene from the heights of Fourvière at night, when the city is brilliant with many-lighted workshops, is a wonderfully near approach to fairy-land.

Whether the remarkable symmetry of the city's streets and plan is the result of the genius of a past day, or of the modern progressive spirit, is in some doubt. Certainly it must originally have been a delightfully planned city, and the spirit of modernity—though great—has not by any means wholly eradicated its whilom charm of another day.

It may be remarked here that about the only navigable portion of the none too placid Rhône is found from here to Avignon and Arles, to which points, in summer at least, steam-craft—of sorts—carry passengers with expedition and economy—down-stream; the journey up-river will amaze one by the potency of the flood of this torrential stream—so different from the slow-going Saône.

The present diocese, of which the see of Lyon is the head, comprehends the Department of the Rhône et Loire. It is known under the double vocable of Lyon et Vienne, and is the outgrowth of the more ancient ecclesiastical province of Vienne, whose archiepiscopal dignity was domiciled in St. Maurice.

It was in the second century that St. Pothin, an Asiatic Greek, came to the ancient province of Lyon as archbishop. The title carried with it that of primate of all Gaul: hence the importance of the see, from the earliest times, may be inferred.

The architectural remains upon which is built the flamboyant Gothic church of St. Nizier are supposed to be those of the primitive cathedral in which St. Pothin and St. Irenæus celebrated the holy rites. The claim is made, of course, not without a show of justification therefor, but it is a far cry from the second century of our era to this late day; and the sacristan's words are not convincing, in view of the doubts which many non-local experts have cast upon the assertion. The present Église St. Nizier is furthermore dedicated to a churchman who lived as late as the sixth century.

The present cathedral of St. Jean dates from the early years of the twelfth century, but there remains to-day another work closely allied with episcopal affairs—the stone bridge which spans the Saône, and which was built some two hundred years before the present cathedral by Archbishop Humbert.

Though a bridge across a river is an essentially practical and utile thing, it is, perhaps, in a way, as worthy a work for a generous and masterful prelate as church-building itself. Certainly this was the case with Humbert's bridge, he having designed the structure, superintended its erection, and assumed the expense thereof. It is recorded that this worthy churchman gained many adherents for the faith, so it may be assumed that he builded as well as he knew.

St. Jean de Lyon dates from 1180, and presents many architectural anomalies in its constructive elements, though the all-pervading Gothic is in the ascendant. From this height downward, through various interpolations, are seen suggestions of many varieties and styles of church-building. There is, too, an intimation of a motif essentially pagan if one attempts to explain the vagaries of some of the ornamentation of the unusual septagonal Lombard choir. This is further inferred when it is known that a former temple to Augustus stood on the same site. If this be so, the reasoning is complete, and the classical ornament here is of a very early date.

The fabric of the cathedral is, in the main, of a warm-coloured freestone, not unlike dark marble, but without its brilliancy and surface. It comes from the heights of Fourvière,—on whose haunches the cathedral sits,—and by virtue of the act of foundation it may be quarried at any time, free of all cost, for use by the Church.

The situation of this cathedral is most attractive; indeed its greatest charm may be said to be its situation, so very picturesquely disposed is it, with the Quai de l'Archevêché between it and the river Saône.

The choir itself—after allowing for the interpolation of the early non-Christian fragments—is the most consistently pleasing portion. It presents in general a fairly pure, early Gothic design. Curiously enough, this choir sits below the level of the nave and presents, in the interior view, an unusual effect of amplitude.

With the nave of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the style becomes more mixed—localized, one may say—if only consistent details might be traced. At any rate, the style grows perceptibly heavier and more involved, without the simplicity of pre-Gothic work. Finally, as one comes to the heavily capped towers, there is little of grace and beauty left.

In detail, at least, if not in general, St. Jean runs quite the whole scale of mediæval architectural style—from the pure Romanesque to the definite, if rather mixed, Gothic.

Of the later elements, the most remarkable is the fifteenth-century Bourbon chapel, built by Cardinal Charles and his brother Pierre. This chapel presents the usual richness and luxuriance of its time. If all things are considered, it is the chief feature of interest within the walls.

The west front has triple portals, reminiscent, as to dimensions, of Amiens, though by no means so grandly peopled with statues; the heavy, stunted towers, too, are not unlike those of Amiens. These twin towers are of a decidedly heavy order, and are not beautiful, either as distinct features or as a component of the ensemble. Quite in keeping also are the chief decorations of the façade, which are principally a series of superimposed medallions, depicting, variously, the signs of the zodiac, scenes from the life of St. Jean, and yet others suggesting scenes and incidents from Genesis, with an admixture of heraldic symbolism which is here quite meaningless and singularly inappropriate, while still other entablatures present scenes illustrating the "Legend of St. Nicholas" and "The Law of Aristotle."

The general effect of the exterior, the façade in particular, is very dark, and except in a bright sunlight—which is usual—is indeed gloomy. In all probability, this is due to the discolouring of the soft stone of which the cathedral is built, as the same effect is scarcely to be remarked in the interior.

In a tower on the south side—much lower, and not so clumsily built up as the twin towers—hangs one of the greatest bourdons in France. It was cast in 1662, and weighs ten thousand kilos.

Another curiosity of a like nature is to be seen in the interior, an astronomical clock—known to Mr. Tristram as "that great clock of Lippius of Basle." Possessed of a crowing cock and the usual toy-book attributes, this great clock is a source of perennial pride to the native and the makers of guide-books. Sterne, too, it would appear, waxed unduly enthusiastic over this really ingenious thing of wheels and cogs. He said: "I never understood the least of mechanism. I declare I was never able yet to comprehend the principles of a squirrel-cage or a knife-grinder's wheel, yet I will go see this wonderful clock the first thing I do." When he did see it, he quaintly observed that "it was all out of joint."

The rather crude coloured glass—though it is precious glass, for it dates from the thirteenth century, in part—sets off bountifully an interior which would otherwise appear somewhat austere.

In the nave is a marble pulpit which has been carved with more than usual skill. It ranks with that in St. Maurice, at Vienne, as one of the most beautiful in France.

The cathedral possesses two reliques of real importance in the crosses which are placed to the left and right of the high-altar. These are conserved by a unique custom, in memory of an attempt made by a concile génêral of the church, held in Lyon in 1274, to reconcile the Latin and Greek forms of religion.

The sacristy, in which the bountiful, though not historic, trésor is kept, is in the south transept.

Among the archives of the cathedral there are, says a local antiquary, documents of a testamentary nature, which provided the means for the up-keep of the fabric without expense to the church, until well into the eighteenth century.

On the apex of the height which rises above the cathedral is the Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière—"one of those places of pilgrimage, the most venerated in all the world," says a confident French writer. This may be so; it overlooks ground which has long been hallowed by the Church, to a far greater degree than many other parts, but, like so many places of pilgrimage of a modern day, its nondescript religious edifice is enough to make the church-lover willingly pass it by. The site is that of the ancient Forum Vetus of the Romans, and as such is more appealing to most than as a place of pilgrimage.



"At the feet of seven mountains; on the banks of a large river; an antique city and a cité neuve."

—François Ponsard.

Though widowed to-day of its bishop's throne, Vienne enjoys with Lyon the distinction of having its name attached to an episcopal see. The ancient archbishopric ruled over what was known as the Province of Vienne, which, if not more ancient than that of Lyon, dates from the same century—the second of our Christian era—and probably from a few years anterior, as it is known that St. Crescent, the first prelate of the diocese, was firmly established here as early as 118 a. d. In any event, it was one of the earliest centres of Christianity north of the Alps.

To-day, being merged with the diocese of Lyon, Vienne is seldom credited as being a cathedral city. Locally the claim is very strongly made, but the Mediterranean tourist never finds this out, unless, perchance, he "drops off" from the railway in order to make acquaintance with that remarkable Roman temple to Augustus, of which he may have heard.

Then he will learn from the habitants that by far their greatest respect and pride are for their ancienne Cathédrale de St. Maurice, which sits boldly upon a terrace dominating the course of the river Rhône.

In many respects St. Maurice de Vienne will strike the student and lover of architecture as being one of the most lively and appealing edifices of its kind. The Lombard origin of many of its features is without question; notably the delightful gallery on the north side, with its supporting columns of many grotesque shapes.

Again the parapet and terrace which precede this church, the ground-plan, and some of the elevations are pure Lombard in motive.

There are no transepts and no ancient chapels at the eastern termination; the windows running down to the pavement. This, however, does not make for an appearance at all outré—quite the reverse is the case. The general effect of the entire internal distribution of parts, with its fine approach from the nave to the sanctuary and choir, is exceedingly notable.

Of the remains of the edifice, which was erected on the foundations of a still earlier church, in 1052 (reconstructed in 1515), we have those of the primitive, but rich, ornamentation of the façade as the most interesting and appealing.

The north doorway, too, indicates in its curious bas-reliefs, of the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, a luxuriance which in the north—in the Romanesque churches at least—came only with later centuries.

There are few accessories of note to be seen in the choir or chapels: a painting of St. Maurice by Desgoffés, a small quantity of fourteenth-century glass, the mausoleum of Cardinal de Montmorin, a sixteenth-century tomb, and, in one of the chapels, some modern glass of more than usual brilliance.

The pulpit is notable, and, with that in St. Jean de Lyon, ranks as one of the most elaborate in France.

For the rest, one's admiration for St. Maurice de Vienne must rest on the glorious antiquity of the city, as a centre of civilizing and Christianizing influence.

When Pope Paschal II. (1099-1118) confirmed the metropolitan privileges of Vienne, and sent the pallium to its archbishop, he assigned to him as suffragans the bishops of Grenoble, Valence, Dié, Viviers, Geneva, and St. Jean de Maurienne, and conferred upon him the honorary office of primate over Monstiers in Tarentaise. Still later, Calixtus II. (1119-24) favoured the archbishopric still further by not only confirming the privileges which had gone before, but investing the archbishop with the still higher dignity of the office of primate over the seven ecclesiastical Provinces of Vienne, Bourges, Bordeaux, Auch, Narbonne, Aix, and Embrun.



Valence, the Valentia of the Romans, is variously supposed to be situated in southeastern France, Provence, and the Cevennes. For this reason it will be difficult for the traveller to locate his guide-book reference thereto.

It is, however, located in the Rhône valley on the very banks of that turgid river, and it seems inexplicable that the makers of the red-covered couriers do not place it more definitely; particularly in that it is historically so important a centre.

The most that can usually be garnered by the curious is that it is "well built in parts, and that those parts only are of interest to the traveller." As a matter of fact, they are nothing of the sort; and the boulevards, of which so much is made, are really very insignificant; so, too, are the cafés and restaurants, to which far more space is usually given than to the claim of Valence as an early centre of Christianity.

Valence is not a great centre of population, and is appealing by reason of its charming situation, in a sort of amphitheatre, before which runs the swift-flowing Rhône. There is no great squalor, but there is a picturesqueness and charm which is wholly dispelled in the newer quarters, of which the guide-books speak.

There is, moreover, in the cathedral of St. Apollinaire, a small but highly interesting "Romanesque-Auvergnian" cathedral; rebuilt and reconsecrated by Urban II., in the eleventh century, and again reconstructed, on an entirely new plan, in 1604. Besides this curious church there is a "Protestant temple," which occupies the former chapel of the ancient Abbey of St. Rufus, that should have a singularly appealing interest for English-speaking folk.

The préfecture occupies another portion of the abbey, which in its various disintegrated parts is worthy of more than passing consideration.

The bishopric was founded here at Valence in the fourth century—when Emelien became the first bishop. The see endures to-day as a suffragan of Avignon; whereas formerly it owed obedience to Vienne (now Lyon et Vienne).

The ancient cathedral of St. Apollinaire is almost wholly conceived and executed in what has come to be known as the Lombard style.

The main body of the church is preceded on the west by an extravagant rectangular tower, beneath which is the portal or entrance; if, as in the present instance, the comprehensive meaning of the word suggests something more splendid than a mere doorway.

There has been remarked before now that there is a suggestion of the Corinthian order in the columns of both the inside and outside of the church. This is a true enough detail of Lombard forms as it was of the Roman style, which in turn was borrowed from the Greeks. In later times the neo-classical details of the late Renaissance period produced quite a different effect, and were in no way comparable to the use of this detail in the Lombard and Romanesque churches.

In St. Apollinaire, too, are to be remarked the unusual arch formed of a rounded trefoil. This is found in both the towers, and is also seen in St. Maurice at Vienne, but not again until the country far to the northward and eastward is reached, where they are more frequent, therefore their use here may be considered simply as an interpolation brought from some other soil, rather than an original conception of the local builder.

Here also is seen the unusual combination of an angular pointed arch in conjunction with the round-headed Lombard variety. This, in alternation for a considerable space, on the south side of the cathedral. It is a feature perhaps not worth mentioning, except from the fact that both the trefoil and wedge-pointed arch are singularly unbeautiful and little in keeping with an otherwise purely southern structure.

The aisles of St. Apollinaire, like those of Notre Dame de la Grande at Poitiers, and many other Lombardic churches, are singularly narrow, which of course appears to lengthen them out interminably.

If any distinctive style can be given this small but interesting cathedral, it may well be called the style of Lyonnaise.

It dates from the twelfth century as to its foundations, but was rebuilt on practically a new ground-plan in 1604.

To-day it is cruciform after the late elongated style, with lengthy transepts and lofty aisles.

The chief feature to be observed of its exterior is its heavy square tower (187 feet) of four stories. It is not beautiful, and was rebuilt in the middle nineteenth century, but it is imposing and groups satisfactorily enough with the ensemble round about. Beneath this tower is a fine porch worked in Crussol marble.

There is no triforium or clerestory. In the choir is a cenotaph in white marble to Pius VI., who was exiled in Valence, and who died here in 1799. It is surmounted by a bust by Canova, whose work it has become the fashion to admire sedulously.



The bishopric of Viviers is a suffragan of Avignon, and is possessed of a tiny cathedral church, which, in spite of its diminutive proportions, overtops quite all the other buildings of this ancient capital of the Vivarais.

The city is a most picturesque setting for any shrine, with the narrow, tortuous streets—though slummy ones—winding to the cliff-top on which the city sits high above the waters of the Rhône.

The choir of this cathedral is the only portion which warrants remark. It is of the fourteenth century, and has no aisles. It is in the accepted Gothic style, but this again is coerced by the Romanesque flanking tower, which, to all intents and purposes, when viewed from afar, might well be taken for a later Renaissance work.

A nearer view dissects this tower into really beautiful parts. The base is square, but above—in an addition of the fifteenth century—it blooms forth into an octagon of quite original proportions.

In the choir are some Gobelin tapestries and paintings by Mignard; otherwise there are no artistic attributes to be remarked.



The independent principality of Orange (which had existed since the eleventh century), with the papal State of Avignon, the tiny Comté Venaissin, and a small part of Provence were welded into the Department of Vaucluse in the redistribution of political divisions under Napoleon I. The house of Nassau retains to-day the honorary title of Princes of Orange, borne by the heir apparent to the throne of Holland. More anciently the city was known as the Roman Arausio, and is yet famous for its remarkable Roman remains, the chief of which are its triumphal arch and theatre—one of the largest and most magnificent, if not actually the largest, of its era.

The history of the church at Orange is far more interesting and notable than that of its rather lame apology for a cathedral of rank. The see succumbed in 1790 in favour of Avignon, an archbishopric, and Valence, one of its suffragans.

The persecution and oppression of the Protestants of Orange and Dauphiné are well-recorded facts of history.

A supposedly liberal and tolerant maker of guide-books (in English) has given inhabitants of Orange a hard reputation by classing them as a "ferocious people." This rather unfair method of estimating their latter-day characteristics is based upon the fact that over three hundred perished here by the guillotine during the first three months of the Revolution. It were better had he told us something of the architectural treasures of this ville de l'art célèbre. He does mention the chief, also that "the town has many mosquitoes," but, as for churches, he says not a word.

The first bishop was St. Luce, who was settled here in the fourth century, at the same time that St. Ruff came to Avignon.

As a bishopric, Orange was under the control of St. Trophime's successors at Arles.

Notre Dame d'Orange is a work of little architectural pretence, though its antiquity is great as to certain portions of its walls. The oldest portion dates from 1085, though there is little to distinguish it from the more modern additions and reparations, and is in no way suggestive of the splendour with which the ancient Roman theatre and arch were endowed.

The chief attribute to be remarked is the extreme width of nave, which dates from 1085 to 1126. The cathedral itself, however, is not an architectural example of any appealing interest whatever, and pales utterly before the magnificent and splendid preservations of secular Roman times.

Since, however, Orange is a city reminiscent of so early a period of Christianity as the fourth century, it is to be presumed that other Christian edifices of note may have at one time existed: if so, no very vivid history of them appears to have been left behind, and certainly no such tangible expressions of the art of church-building as are seen in the neighbouring cities of the Rhône valley.



"It is the plain of Cavaillon which is the market-garden of Avignon; from whence come the panniers of vegetables and fruits, the buissons d'artichauts, and the melons of 'high reputation.'"

Such is the rather free paraphrase of a most charmingly expressed observation on this Provençal land of plenty, written by an eighteenth-century Frenchman.

If it was true in those days, it is no less true to-day, and, though this book is more concerned with churches than with potagerie, the observation is made that this fact may have had not a little to do with the early foundation of the church, here in a plenteous region, where it was more likely to prosper than in an impoverished land.

The bishopric was founded in the fifth century by St. Genialis, and it endured constantly until the suppression in 1790.

All interest in Cavaillon, in spite of its other not inconsiderable claims, will be centred around its ancient cathedral of St. Véran, immediately one comes into contact therewith.

The present structure is built upon a very ancient foundation; some have said that the primitive church was of the seventh century. This present cathedral was consecrated by Pope Innocent IV. in person, in 1259, and for that reason possesses a considerable interest which it would otherwise lack.

Externally the most remarkable feature is the arrangement and decoration of the apside—there is hardly enough of it to come within the classification of the chevet. Here the quintuple flanks, or sustaining walls, are framed each with a pair of columns, of graceful enough proportions in themselves, but possessed of inordinately heavy capitals.

An octagonal cupola, an unusual, and in this case a not very beautiful feature, crowns the centre of the nave. In reality it serves the purpose of a lantern, and allows a dubious light to trickle through into the interior, which is singularly gloomy.

To the right of the nave is a curiously attenuated clocher, which bears a clock-face of minute proportions, and holds a clanging bourdon, which, judging from its voice, must be as proportionately large as the clock-face is small.

Beneath this tower is a doorway leading from the nave to the cloister, a beautiful work dating from a much earlier period than the church itself.

This cloister is not unlike that of St. Trophime at Arles, and, while plain and simple in its general plan of rounded arches and vaulting, is beautifully worked in stone, and admirably preserved. In spite of its severity, there is no suggestion of crudity, and there is an elegance and richness in its sculptured columns and capitals which is unusual in ecclesiastical work of the time.

The interior of this church is quite as interesting as the exterior. There is an ample, though aisleless, nave, which, though singularly dark and gloomy, suggests a vastness which is perhaps really not justified by the actual state of affairs.

A very curious arrangement is that the supporting wall-pillars—in this case a sort of buttress, like those of the apside—serve to frame or enclose a series of deep-vaulted side chapels. The effect of this is that all of the flow of light, which might enter by the lower range of windows, is practically cut off from the nave. What refulgence there is—and it is not by any means of the dazzling variety—comes in through the before-mentioned octagon and the upper windows of the nave.

In a chapel—the gift of Philippe de Cabassole, a friend of Petrarch's—is a funeral monument which will even more forcibly recall the name and association of the poet. It is a seventeenth-century tomb of Bishop Jean de Sade, a descendant of the famous Laura, whose ashes formerly lay in the Église des Cordeliers at Avignon, but which were, it is to be feared, scattered to the winds by the Revolutionary fury.

At the summit of Mont St. Jacques, which rises high above the town, is the ancient Ermitage de St. Véran; a place of local pilgrimage, but not otherwise greatly celebrated.



It would be difficult to say with precision whether Avignon were more closely connected in the average mind with the former papal splendour, with Petrarch and his Laura, or with the famous Félibrage.

Avignon literally reeks with sentimental associations of a most healthy kind. No probable line of thought suggested by Avignon's historied and romantic past will intimate even the mawkish, the sordid, or the banal. It is, in almost limitless suggestion, the city of France above all others in which to linger and drink in the life of its past and present to one's fullest capacities.

For the "literary pilgrim," first and foremost will be Avignon's association with Petrarch, or rather he with it. For this reason it shall be disposed of immediately, though not in one word, or ten; that would be impossible.

Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon

Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon

"'The grave of Laura!' said I. 'Indeed, my dear sir, I am obliged to you for having mentioned it,'" were the words with which the local bookseller was addressed by an eighteenth-century traveller. "'Otherwise one might have gone away, to their everlasting sorrow and shame, without having seen this curiosity of your city.'"

The same record of travel describes the guardian of this shrine as "a converted Jew, who, from one year's end to another, has but two duties to perform, which he most punctually attends to. The one to take care of the grave of Laura, and to show it to strangers, the other to give them information respecting all the curiosities. Before his conversion, he stood at the corner by the Hôtel de Ville offering lottery tickets to passers-by, and asking, till he was hoarse, if they had anything to sell. Not a soul took the least notice of him. His beard proved a detriment in all his speculations. Now that he has become a Christian, it is wonderful how everything thrives with him."

At the very end of the Rue des Lices will be found the last remains of the Église des Cordeliers—reduced at the Revolution to a mere tower and its walls. Here may be seen the spot where was the tomb of Laura de Sade. Arthur Young, writing just before the Revolution, described it as below; though since that time still other changes have taken place, with the result that "Laura's Grave" is little more than a memory to-day, and a vague one at that.

"The grave is nothing but a stone in the pavement, with a figure engraved on it already partly effaced, surrounded by an inscription in Gothic letters, and another on the wall adjoining, with the armorial bearings of the De Sade family."

To-day nothing but the site—the location—of the tomb is still there, the before-mentioned details having entirely disappeared. The vault was apparently broken open at the Revolution, and its ashes scattered. It was here at Avignon, in the Église de St. Claire, as Petrarch himself has recorded, that he first met Laura de Sade.

The present mood is an appropriate one in which to continue the Petrarchian pilgrimage countryward—to the famous Vaucluse. Here Petrarch came as a boy, in 1313, and, if one chooses, he may have his déjeuner at the Hôtel Pétrarque et Laure; not the same, of course, of which Petrarch wrote in praise of its fish of Sorgues; but you will have them as a course at lunch nevertheless. Here, too, the famed Fontaine first comes to light and air; and above it hangs "Petrarch's Castle," which is not Petrarch's castle, nor ever was. It belonged originally to the bishops of Cavaillon, but it is possible that Petrarch was a guest there at various times, as we know he was at the more magnificent Palais des Papes at Avignon.

This château of the bishops hangs perilously on a brow which rises high above the torrential Fontaine, and, if sentiment will not allow of its being otherwise ignored, it is permissible to visit it, if one is so inclined. No special hardship is involved, and no great adventure is likely to result from this journey countryward. Tourists have been known to do the thing before "just to get a few snapshots of the fountain."

As to why the palace of the popes came into being at Avignon is a question which suggests the possibilities of the making of a big book.

The popes came to Avignon at the time of the Italian partition, on the strength of having acquired a grant of the city from Joanna of Naples, for which they were supposed to give eighty thousand golden crowns. They never paid the bill, however; from which fact it would appear that financial juggling was born at a much earlier period than has hitherto been supposed.

Seven popes reigned here, from 1305 to 1370; when, on the termination of the Schism, it became the residence of a papal legate. Subsequently Louis XIV. seized the city, in revenge for an alleged affront to his ambassador, and Louis XV. also held it for ten years.

The curious fact is here recalled that, by the treaty of Tolentino (12th February, 1797), the papal power at Rome conceded formally for the first time—to Napoleon I.—their ancient territory of Avignon. On the terms of this treaty alone was Pope Pius allowed to remain nominal master of even shreds of the patrimony of St. Peter.

The significant events of Avignon's history are too great in purport and number to be even catalogued here, but the magnificent papal residence, from its very magnitude and luxuriance, compels attention as one of the great architectural glories, not only of France, but of all Europe as well.

Here sat, for the major portion of the fourteenth century, the papal court of Avignon; which the uncharitable have called a synonym for profligacy, veniality, and luxurious degeneracy. Here, of course, were held the conclaves by which the popes of that century were elected; significantly they were all Frenchmen, which would seem to point to the fact of corruption of some sort, if nothing more.

Rienzi, the last of the tribunes, was a prisoner within the walls of this great papal stronghold, and Simone Memmi of Sienna was brought therefrom to decorate the walls of the popes' private chapel; Petrarch was persona grata here, and many other notables were frequenters of its hospitality.

The palace walls rise to a height of nearly ninety feet, and its battlemented towers add another fifty; from which one may infer that its stability was great; an effect which is still further sustained when the great thickness of its sustaining walls is remarked, and the infrequent piercings of windows and doorways.

This vast edifice was commenced by Pope Clement V. in the early years of the thirteenth century, but nothing more than the foundations of his work were left, when Benedict XII., thirty years later, gave the work into the hands of Peter Obreri—who must have been the Viollet-le-Duc of his time.

Revolution's destroying power played its part here, as generally throughout France, in defacing shrines, monuments, and edifices, civil and ecclesiastical, with little regard for sentiment and absolutely none for reason.

The mob attacked the papal palace with results more disastrous than the accumulated debasement of preceding centuries. The later régime, which turned the magnificent halls of this fortress-like palace into a mere barracks—as it is to-day—was quite as iconoclastic in its temperament.

One may realize here, to the full, just how far a great and noble achievement of the art and devotion of a past age may sink. The ancient papal palace at Avignon—the former seat of the power of the Roman Catholic religion—has become a mere barracks! To contemplate it is more sad even than to see a great church turned into a stable or an abattoir—as can yet be seen in France.

In its plan this magnificent building preserves its outlines, but its splendour of embellishment has very nearly been eradicated, as may be observed if one will crave entrance of the military incumbent.


In 1376 Pope Gregory XI. left Avignon for Rome,—after him came the two anti-popes,—and thus ended what Petrarch has called "L'Empia Babilonia."

The cathedral of Notre Dame des Doms pales perceptibly before the splendid dimensions of the papal palace, which formerly encompassed a church of its own of much more artistic worth.

In one respect only does the cathedral lend a desirable note to the ensemble. This, by reason of its commanding situation—at the apex of the Rocher des Doms—and by the gilded statue of the Virgin which surmounts the tower, and supplies just the right quality of colour and life to a structure which would be otherwise far from brilliant.

From the opposite bank of the Rhône—from Villeneuve-les-Avignon—the view of the parent city, the papal residence, the cathedral, and that unusual southern attribute, the beffroi, all combine in a most glorious picture of a superb beauty; quite rivalling—though in a far different manner—that "plague spot of immorality,"—Monte Carlo, which is mostly thought to hold the palm for the sheer beauty of natural situation.

The cathedral is chiefly of the twelfth century, though even a near-by exterior view does not suggest any of the Gothic tendencies of that era. It is more like the heavy bungling style which came in with the Renaissance; but it is not that either, hence it must be classed as a unique variety, though of the period when the transition from the Romanesque to Gothic was making inroads elsewhere.

It has been said that the structure dates in part from the time of Charlemagne, but, if so, the usual splendid appointments of the true Charlemagnian manner are sadly lacking. There may be constructive foundations of the eleventh century, but they are in no way distinctive, and certainly lend no liveliness to a building which must ever be ranked as unworthy of the splendid environment.

As a church of cathedral rank, it is a tiny edifice when compared with the glorious northern ground-plans: it is not much more than two hundred feet in length, and has a width which must be considerably less than fifty feet.

The entrance, at the top of a long, winding stair which rises from the street-level of the Place du Palais to the platform of the rock, is essentially pagan in its aspect; indeed it is said to have previously formed the portal of a pagan temple which at one time stood upon the site. If this be so, this great doorway—for it is far larger in its proportions than any other detail—is the most ancient of all the interior or exterior features.

The high pediment and roof may be pointed Gothic, or it may not; at any rate, it is in but the very rudimentary stage. Authorities do not agree; which carries the suggestion still further that the cathedral at Avignon is of itself a queer, hybrid thing in its style, and with not a tithe of the interest possessed by its more magnificent neighbour.

The western tower, while not of great proportions, is rather more massive than the proportions of the church body can well carry. What decoration it possesses carries the pagan suggestion still further, with its superimposed fluted pillars and Corinthian columns.

The gloomy interior is depressing in the extreme, and whatever attributes of interest that it has are largely discounted by their unattractive setting.

There are a number of old paintings, which, though they are not the work of artists of fame, might possibly prove to be of creditable workmanship, could one but see them through the gloom. In the before-mentioned porch are some frescoes by Simone Memmi, executed by him in the fourteenth century, when he came from Sienna to do the decorations in the palace.

The side chapels are all of the fourteenth century; that of St. Joseph, now forming the antechamber of the sacristy, contains a noteworthy Gothic tomb and monument of Pope John XXII. It is much mutilated to-day, and is only interesting because of the personality connected therewith. The custodian or caretaker is in this case a most persistently voluble person, who will give the visitor little peace unless he stands by and hears her story through, or flees the place,—which is preferable.

The niches of this highly florid Gothic tomb were despoiled of their statues at the Revolution, and the recumbent effigy of the Pope has been greatly disfigured. A much simpler monument, and one quite as interesting, to another Pope, Benedict XII.,—he who was responsible for the magnificence of the papal palace,—is in a chapel in the north aisle of the nave, but the cicerone has apparently no pride in this particular shrine.

An ancient (pagan?) altar is preserved in the nave. It is not beautiful, but it is undoubtedly very ancient and likewise very curious.

The chief accessory of interest for all will doubtless prove to be the twelfth-century papal throne. It is of a pure white marble, rather cold to contemplate, but livened here and there with superimposed gold ornament. What decoration there is, chiefly figures representing the bull of St. Luke and the lion of St. Mark, is simple and severe, as befitted papal dignity. To-day it serves the archbishop of the diocese as his throne of dignity, and must inspire that worthy with ambitious hopes.

The chapter of the cathedral at Avignon—as we learn from history—wears purple, in company with cardinals and kings, at all celebrations of the High Mass of Clara de Falkenstein. From a well-worn vellum quarto in the library at Avignon one may read the legend which recounts the connection of Ste. Clara de Mont Falcone with the mystery of the Holy Trinity; from which circumstance the honour and dignity of the purple has been granted to the prelates of the cathedral.

No mention of Avignon, or of Arles, or of Nîmes could well be made without a reference to the revival of Provençal literature brought about by the famous "Félibrage," that brotherhood founded by seven poets, of whom Frederic Mistral is the most popularly known.

The subject is too vast, and too vastly interesting to be slighted here, so perforce mere mention must suffice.

The word Félibre was suggested by Mistral, who found it in an old hymn. Its etymology is uncertain, but possibly it is from the Greek, meaning "a lover of the beautiful."

The original number of the Félibres was seven, and they first met on the fête-day of Ste. Estelle; in whose honour they adopted the seven-pointed star as their emblem. Significantly, the number seven has much to do with the Félibres and Avignon alike. The enthusiastic Félibre tells of Avignon's seven churches, its seven gates, seven colleges, seven hospitals, and seven popes—who reigned at Avignon for seven decades; and further that the word Félibre has seven letters, as, also, has the name of Mistral, one of its seven founders—who took seven years in writing his epics.

des DOMS

The machicolated walls, towers, and gateways of Avignon, which protected the city in mediæval times, and—history tells us—sheltered twice as many souls as now, are in a remarkable state of preservation and completeness, and rank foremost among the masterworks of fortification of their time. This outer wall, or enceinte, was built at the instigation of Clement VI., in 1349, and was the work of but fourteen years.

A hideously decorated building opposite the papal palace—now the Conservatoire de Musique—was formerly the papal mint.

The ruined bridge of St. Bénezet, built in the twelfth century, is a remarkable example of the engineering skill of the time. Surmounting the four remaining arches—still perfect as to their configuration—is a tiny chapel dedicated to St. Nicholas, which formerly contained reliques of St. Bénezet.

The extraordinary circumstance which led up to the building of this bridge seems legendary, to say the least.

It is recorded that St. Bénezet, its founder, who was a mere shepherd, became inspired by God to undertake this great work. The inspiration must likewise have brought with it not a little of the uncommon skill of the bridge-builder, and, considering the extent and scope of the projected work, something of the spirit of benefaction as well.

The foundation was laid in 1171, and it was completed, after seventeen years of labour, in 1188.

On this bridge, near the entrance to the city, was erected a hospital of religious persons, who were denominated Les Frères du Pont, their offices being to preserve the fabric, and to afford succour to all manner of travellers.

The boldness and utility of this undertaking,—it being the only means of communication between Avignon and the French territory beyond the Rhône,—as well as the permanency assured to it by the annexing of a religious foundation, cannot fail to grant to the memory of its holy founder something more than a due share of veneration on behalf of his genius and perspicacity.



The tiny city of Carpentras, most picturesquely situated on the equally diminutive river Auzon which enters the Rhône between Orange and Avignon, was a Roman colony under Augustus, and a bishopric under St. Valentin in the third century.

A suffragan of Avignon, the papal city, the see was suppressed in 1790.

The Bishops of Carpentras, it would appear, were a romantic and luxury-loving line of prelates, though this perhaps is aught against their more devout virtues.

They had a magnificent palace overhanging the famous "Fountain of Vaucluse," and repaired thither in mediæval times for the relaxation which they evidently much appreciated. They must have been veritable patrons of literature and the arts, as Petrarch and his fellows-in-art were frequently of their household.

The ancient cathedral of St. Siffrein is dedicated to a former bishop of Carpentras, who died in the sixth century.

As this church now stands, its stones are mainly of the early sixteenth century. The west façade is entirely without character, and is pierced at the pavement with a gross central doorway flanked by two others; poor copies of the Greco-Romain style, which, in many of its original forms, was certainly more pleasing than here. Each of these smaller doorways have for their jambs two beautifully toned columns of red jasper, from a baptistère of which there are still extensive remains at Venasque near by.

This baptistère, by the way, and its neighbouring Romanesque and Gothic church, is quite worth the energy of making the journey countryward, eleven kilometres from Carpentras, to see.

It is nominally of the tenth century, but is built up from fragments of a former Temple to Venus, and its situation amid the rocks and tree-clad hilltops of the Nesque valley is most agreeable.

The portal on the south side—though, for a fact, it hardly merits the dignity of such a classification—is most ornately sculptured. A figure of the Virgin, in the doorway, it locally known as Notre Dame des Neiges.

Much iconographic symbolism is to be found in this doorway, capable of various plausible explanations which shall not be attempted here.

It must suffice to say that nowhere in this neighbourhood, indeed possibly not south of the Loire, is so varied and elaborate a collection of symbolical stone-carving to be seen.

There is no regularly completed tower to St. Siffrein, but a still unachieved tenth-century clocher in embryo attaches itself on the south.

The interior presents the general effect of Gothic, and, though of late construction, is rather of the primitive order.

There are no aisles, but one single nave, very wide and very high, while the apse is very narrow, with lateral chapels.

Against the western wall are placed four paintings; not worthy of remark, perhaps, except for their great size. They are of the seventeenth or eighteenth century. A private corridor, or gallery, leads from this end of the church to the episcopal palace, presumably for the sole use of the bishops and their guests. The third chapel on the right is profusely decorated and contains a valuable painting by Dominique de Carton. Another contains a statue of the Virgin, of the time of Louis XIV., and is very beautiful.

A tomb of Bishop Laurent Buti (d. 1710) is set against the wall, where the apse adjoins the nave.

Rearward on the high-altar is a fine painting by an unknown artist of the Italian school.

The old-time cathedral of St. Siffrein was plainly not of the poverty-stricken class, as evinced by the various accessories and details of ornamentation mentioned above. It had, moreover, in conjunction with it, a most magnificent and truly palatial episcopal residence, built by a former cardinal-bishop, Alexandri Bichi, in 1640. To-day it serves the functions of the Palais de Justice and a prison; in the latter instance certainly a fall from its hitherto high estate. Built about by this ancient residence of the prelates of the Church is also yet to be seen, in much if not quite all of its pristine glory, a Gallo-Romain arc de Triomphe of considerable proportions and much beauty of outline and ornament.

As to period, Prosper Mérimée, to whom the preservation of the ancient monuments of France is largely due, has said that it is contemporary with its compeer at Orange (first or second century).

The Porte d'Orange, in the Grande Rue, is the only relique left at Carpentras of the ancient city ramparts built in the fourteenth century by Pope Innocent VI.



The Provençal town of Vaison, like Carpentras and Cavaillon, is really of the basin of the Rhône, rather than of the region of the snow-crowned Alps which form its background. It is of little interest to-day as a cathedral city, though the see dates from a foundation of the fourth century, by St. Aubin, until the suppression of 1790.

Its former cathedral is hardly the equal of many others which have supported episcopal dignity, but it has a few accessories and attributes which make it notable.

Its nave is finely vaulted, and there is an eleventh-century cloister, which flanks the main body of the church on the left, which would be remarked under any circumstances.

The cloister, though practically a ruin,—but a well preserved one,—shows in its construction many beautiful Gallo-Romain and early Gothic columns which are exceedingly beautiful in their proportions. In this cloister, also, are some fragments of early Christian tombs, which will offer unlimited suggestion to the archæologist, but which to the lover of art and architecture are quite unappealing.

The Église St. Quinin is a conglomerate edifice which has been built up, in part, from a former church which stood on the same site in the seventh century. It is by no means a great architectural achievement as it stands to-day, but is highly interesting because of its antiquity. In the cathedral the chief article of real artistic value is a bénitier, made from the capital of a luxurious Corinthian column. One has seen sun-dials and drinking-fountains made from pedestals and sarcophagi before—and the effect has not been pleasing, and smacks not only of vandalism, but of a debased ideal of art, but this column-top, which has been transformed into a bénitier, cannot be despised.

The bête-noir of all this region, and of Vaison in particular,—if one is to believe local sentiment,—is the high sweeping wind, which at certain seasons blows in a tempestuous manner. The habitant used to say that "le mistral, le Parlement, et Durance sont les trois fléaux de Provence."



"In all the world that which interests me most is La Fleur des 'Glais' ... It is a fine plant.... It is the same as the Fleurs des Lis d'Or of the arms of France and of Provence."

Frederic Mistral.

d'ARLES ...

Two French writers of repute have recently expressed their admiration of the marvellous country, and the contiguous cities, lying about the mouth of the Rhône; among which are Nîmes, Aigues-Mortes, and—of far greater interest and charm—Arles. Their opinions, perhaps, do not differ very greatly from those of most travellers, but both Madame Duclaux, in "The Fields of France," and René Bazin, in his Récits de la Plaine et de la Montagne, give no palm, one to the other, with respect to their feeling for "the mysterious charm of Arles."

It is significant that in this region, from Vienne on the north to Arles and Nîmes in the south, are found such a remarkable series of Roman remains as to warrant the statement by a French antiquarian that "in Rome itself are no such temples as at Vienne and Nîmes, no theatres so splendidly preserved as that at Orange,—nor so large as that of Arles,—and that the magnificent ruined colosseum on the Tiber in no wise has the perfections of its compeer at Nîmes, nor has any triumphal arch the splendid decorations of that at Reims in the champagne country."

With these facts in view it is well to recall that many non-Christian influences asserted themselves from time to time, and overshadowed for a temporary period those which were more closely identified with the growth of the Church. The Commission des Monuments Historiques catalogue sixteen notable monuments in Arles which are cared for by them: the Amphitheatre, the remains of the Forum,—now built into the façade of the Hôtel du Nord,—the remains of the Palais de Constantin, the Abbey of Montmajour, and the one-time cathedral of St. Trophime, and its cloister—to particularize but a few.

To-day, as anciently, the ecclesiastical province is known as that of Aix, Arles, and Embrun. Arles, however, for a time took its place as an archbishopric, though to-day it joins hands again with Aix and Embrun; thus, while enjoying the distinction of being ranked as an archbishopric, its episcopal residence is at Aix.

It was at Arles that the first, and only, English pope—Adrian Breakspeare—first entered a monastic community, after having been refused admission to the great establishment at St. Albans in Hertfordshire, his native place. Here, by the utmost diligence, he acquired the foundation of that great learning which resulted in his being so suddenly proclaimed the wearer of the tiara, in 1154.

St. Trophime came to Arles in the first century, and became the first bishop of the diocese. The first church edifice on this site was consecrated in 606 by St. Virgil, under the vocable of St. Etienne. In 1152 the present church was built over the remains of St. Trophime, which were brought thither from St. Honorat des Alyscamps. So far as the main body of the church is concerned, it was completed by the end of the twelfth century, and only in its interior is shown the development of the early ogival style.

The structure was added to in 1430, when the Gothic choir was extended eastward.

The aisles are diminutively narrow, and the window piercings throughout are exceedingly small; all of which makes for a lack of brilliancy and gloom, which may be likened to the average crypt. The only radiance which ever penetrates this gloomy interior comes at high noon, when the refulgence of a Mediterranean sun glances through a series of long lancets, and casts those purple shadows which artists love. Then, and then only, does the cathedral of St. Trophime offer any inducement to linger within its non-impressive walls.

The exterior view is, too, dull and gloomy—what there is of it to be seen from the Place Royale. By far the most lively view is that obtained from across the ruins of the magnificent Roman theatre just at the rear. Here the time-resisting qualities of secular Roman buildings combine with the cathedral to present a bright, sunny, and appealing picture indeed.

St. Trophime is in no sense an unworthy architectural expression. As a Provençal type of the Romanesque,—which it is mostly,—it must be judged as quite apart from the Gothic which has crept in to but a slight extent.

The western portal is very beautiful, and, with cloister, as interesting and elaborate as one could wish.

It is the generality of an unimposing plan, a none too graceful tower and its uninteresting interior, that qualifies the richness of its more luxurious details.

The portal of the west façade greatly resembles another at St. Gilles, near by. It is a profusely ornamented doorway with richly foliaged stone carving and elaborate bas-reliefs.

The tympanum of the doorway contains the figure of a bishop in sacerdotal costume, doubtless St. Trophime, flanked by winged angels and lions. The sculptures here date perhaps from the period contemporary with the best work at Paris and Chartres,—well on into the Middle Ages,—when sculpture had not developed or perfected its style, but was rather a bad copy of the antique. This will be notably apparent when the stiffness and crudeness of the proportions of the figures are taken into consideration.

Cloisters, St. Trophime d'Arles

Cloisters, St. Trophime d'Arles

The wonderful cloister of St. Trophime is, on the east side, of Romanesque workmanship, with barrel vaulting, and dates from 1120. On the west it is of the transition style of a century later, while on the north the vaulting springs boldly into the Gothic of that period—well on toward 1400.

The capitals of the pillars of this cloistered courtyard are most diverse, and picture in delicately carved stone such scenes of Bible history and legend as the unbelief of St. Thomas, Ste. Marthe and the Tarasque, etc. It is a curious mélange of the vagaries of the stone carver of the Middle Ages,—these curiously and elaborately carved capitals,—but on the whole the ensemble is one of rare beauty, in spite of non-Christian and pagan accessories. These show at least how far superior the classical work of that time was to the later Renaissance.

The cemetery of Arles, locally known as Les Alyscamps, literally teems with mediæval and ancient funeral monuments; though many, of course, have been removed, and many have suffered the ravages of time, to say nothing of the Revolutionary period. One portion was the old pagan burial-ground, and another—marked off with crosses—was reserved for Christian burial.

It must have been accounted most holy ground, as the dead were brought thither for burial from many distant cities.

Danté mentions it in the "Inferno," Canto IX.:

"Just as at Arles where the Rhône is stagnant
The sepulchres make all the ground unequal."

Ariosto, in "Orlando Furioso," remarks it thus:

"Many sepulchres are in this land."

St. Rémy, a few leagues to the northeast of Arles, is described by all writers as wonderfully impressive and appealing to all who come within its spell;—though the guide-books all say that it is a place without importance.

René Bazin has this to say: "St. Rémy, ce n'est pas beau, ce St. Rémy." Madame Duclaux apostrophizes thus: "We fall at once in love with St. Rémy." With this preponderance of modern opinion we throw in our lot as to the charms of St. Rémy; and so it will be with most, whether with regard to its charming environment or its historical monuments, its arch, or its funeral memorials. One will only come away from this charming petite ville with the idea that, in spite of its five thousand present-day inhabitants, it is something more than a modern shrine which has been erected over a collection of ancient relics. The little city breathes the very atmosphere of mediævalism.



Like its neighbouring Roman cities, Nîmes lives mostly in the glorious past.

In attempting to realize—if only in imagination—the civilization of a past age, one is bound to bear always in mind the motif which caused any great art expression to take place.

Here at Nîmes the church builder had much that was magnificent to emulate, leaving style apart from the question.

St. Castor de Nîmes

St. Castor de Nîmes

He might, when he planned the cathedral of St. Castor, have avowed his intention of reaching, if possible, the grace and symmetry of the Maison Carée; the splendour of the temple of Diana; the majesty of the Tour Magna; the grandeur of the arena; or possibly in some measure a blend of all these ambitious results.

Instead, he built meanly and sordidly, though mainly by cause of poverty.

The Church of the Middle Ages, though come to great power and influence, was not possessed of the fabulous wealth of the vainglorious Roman, who gratified his senses and beautified his surroundings by a lavish expenditure of means, acquired often in a none too honest fashion.

The imperative need of the soul was for a house of worship of some sort, and in some measure relative to the rank of the prelate who was to guard their religious life. This took shape in the early part of the eleventh century, when the cathedral of St. Castor was built.

Of the varied and superlative attractions of the city one is attempted to enlarge unduly; until the thought comes that there is the making of a book itself to be fashioned out of a reconsideration of the splendid monuments which still exist in this city of celebrated art. To enumerate them all even would be an impossibility here.

The tiny building known as the Maison Carée is of that greatness which is not excelled by the "Divine Comedy" in literature, the "Venus of Milo" in sculpture, or the "Transfiguration" in painting.

The delicacy and beauty of its Corinthian columns are the more apparent when viewed in conjunction with the pseudo-classical portico of mathematical clumsiness of the modern theatre opposite.

This theatre is a dreadful caricature of the deathless work of the Greeks, while the perfect example of Greco-Romain architecture—the Maison Carée—will endure as long as its walls stand as the fullest expression of that sense of divine proportion and magique harmonie which the Romans inherited from the Greeks. Cardinal Alberoni called it "a gem which should be set in gold," and both Louis Quatorze and Napoleon had schemes for lifting it bodily from the ground and reëstablishing it at Paris.

Les Arènes of Nîmes is an unparalleled work of its class, and in far better preservation than any other extant. It stands, welcoming the stranger, at the very gateway of the city, its grand axe extending off, in arcaded perspective, over four hundred and twenty feet, with room inside for thirty thousand souls.

These Romans wrought on a magnificent scale, and here, as elsewhere, they have left evidences of their skill which are manifestly of the non-decaying order.

The Commission des Monuments Historiques lists in all at Nîmes nine of these historical monuments over which the paternal care of the Ministère de l'Instruction Publique et des Beaux Arts ever hangs.

As if the only really fine element in the Cathedral of St. Castor were the façade, with its remarkable frieze of events of Bible history, the Commission has singled it out for especial care, which in truth it deserves, far and away above any other specific feature of this church.

Christianity came early to Nîmes; or, at least, the bishopric was founded here, with St. Felix as its first bishop, in the fourth century. At this time the diocese was a suffragan of Narbonne, whilst to-day its allegiance is to the archiepiscopal throne at Avignon.

The cathedral of St. Castor was erected in 1030, restored in the thirteenth century, and suffered greatly in the wars of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

These depredations have been—in part—made good, but in the main it is a rather gaunt and painful fabric, and one which is unlooked for amid so magnificent neighbours.

It has been said by Roger Peyer—who has written a most enticing monograph on Nîmes—"that without prejudice we can say that the churches constructed in the city dans nos jours are far in advance of the cathedral." This is unquestionably true; for, if we except the very ancient façade, with its interesting sculptured frieze, there is little to impress the cathedral upon the mind except its contrast with its surrounding architectural peers.

The main plan, with its flanking north-westerly square tower, is reminiscent of hundreds of parish churches yet to be seen in Italy; while its portal is but a mere classical doorway, too mean even to be classed as a detail of any rank whatever.

The façade has undergone some breaking-out and stopping-up of windows during the past decade; for what purpose it is hard to realize, as the effect is neither enhanced nor the reverse.

A gaunt supporting buttress, or what not, flanks the tower on the south and adds, yet further, to the incongruity of the ensemble.

In fine, its decorations are a curious mixture of a more or less pure round-headed Roman style of window and doorway, with later Renaissance and pseudo-classical interpolations.

With the interior the edifice takes on more of an interesting character, though even here it is not remarkable as to beauty or grace.

The nave is broad, aisleless, and bare, but presents an air of grandeur which is perhaps not otherwise justified; an effect which is doubtless wholly produced by a certain cheerfulness of aspect, which comes from the fact that it has been restored—or at least thoroughly furbished up—in recent times.

The large Roman nave, erected, it has been said, from the remains of a former temple of Augustus, has small chapels, without windows, beyond its pillars in place of the usual side aisles.

Above is a fine gallery or tribune, which also surrounds the choir.

The modern mural paintings—the product of the Restoration period—give an air of splendour and elegance, after the manner of the Italian churches, to an appreciably greater extent than is commonly seen in France.

In the third chapel on the left is an altar-table made of an early Christian sarcophagus; a questionable practice perhaps, but forming an otherwise beautiful, though crude, accessory.



The ancient diocese of Uzès formerly included that region lying between the Ardèche, the Rhône, and the Gardon, its length and breadth being perhaps equal—fourteen ancient leagues. As a bishopric, it endured from the middle of the fifth century nearly to the beginning of the nineteenth.

In ancient Gallic records its cathedral was reckoned as some miles from the present site of the town, but as no other remains than those of St. Théodorit are known to-day, it is improbable that any references in mediæval history refer to another structure.

This church is now no longer a cathedral, the see having been suppressed in 1790.

The bishop here, as at Lodève and Mende, was the count of the town, and the bishop and duke each possessed their castles and had their respective spheres of jurisdiction, which, says an old-time chronicler, "often occasioned many disputes." Obviously!

In the sixteenth century most of the inhabitants embraced the Reformation after the example of their bishop, who, with all his chapter, publicly turned Protestant and "sent for a minister to Geneva."

What remains of the cathedral to-day is reminiscent of a highly interesting mediæval foundation, though its general aspect is distinctly modern. Such rebuilding and restoration as it underwent, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, made of it practically a new edifice.

The one feature of mark, which stands alone as the representative of mediæval times, is the charming tower which flanks the main body of the church on the right.

It is known as the "Tour Fenestrelle" and is of the thirteenth century. It would be a notable accessory to any great church, and is of seven stories in height, each dwindling in size from the one below, forming a veritable campanile. Its height is 130 feet.

The interior attractions of this minor church are greater than might be supposed. There is a low gallery with a superb series of wrought-iron grilles, a fine tomb in marble—to Bishop Boyan—and in the transept two paintings by Simon de Chalons—a "Resurrection" and a "Raising of Lazarus."

The inevitable obtrusive organ-case is of the seventeenth century, and like all of its kind is a parasitical abomination, clinging precariously to the western wall.

The sacristy is an extensive suite of rooms which contain throughout a deep-toned and mellow oaken wainscot.

For the rest, the lines of this church follow the conventionality of its time. Its proportions, while not great, are good, and there is no marked luxuriance of ornament or any exceeding grace in the entire structure, if we except the detached tower before mentioned.

The situation of the town is most picturesque; not daintily pretty, but of a certain dignified order, which is the more satisfying.

The ancient château, called Le Duché, is the real architectural treat of the place.



Alais is an ancient city, but greatly modernized; moreover it does not take a supreme rank as a cathedral city, from the fact that it held a bishop's throne for but a hundred years. Alais was a bishopric only from 1694 to 1790.

The cathedral of St. Jean is an imposing structure of that obtrusive variety of architectural art known as "Louis Quinze," and is unworthy of the distinction once bestowed upon it.

Perhaps it is due to the fact that the Cevenole country was so largely and aggressively Protestant that the see of Alais did not endure. Robert Louis Stevenson tells of a stranger he met in these mountain parts—that he was a Catholic, "and made no shame of it. No shame of it! The phrase is a piece of natural statistics; for it is the language of one of a minority.... Ireland is still Catholic; the Cevennes still Protestant. Outdoor rustics have not many ideas, but such as they have are hardy plants and thrive flourishingly in persecution."

Built about in the façade of this unfeeling structure are some remains of a twelfth-century church, but they are not of sufficient bulk or excellence to warrant remark.

An advancing porch stands before this west façade and is surmounted by a massive tower in a poor Gothic style.

The vast interior, like the exterior, is entirely without distinction, though gaudily decorated. There are some good pictures, which, as works of art, are a decided advance over any other attributes of this church—an "Assumption," attributed to Mignard, in the chapel of the Virgin; in the left transept, a "Virgin" by Deveria; and in the right transept an "Annunciation" by Jalabert.

Alais is by no means a dull place. It is busy with industry, is prosperous, and possesses on a minute scale all the distractions of a great city. It is modern to the very core, so far as appearances go. It has its Boulevard Victor Hugo, its Boulevard Gambetta, and its Lycée Dumas. The Hôpital St. Louis—which has a curious doubly twisted staircase—is of the eighteenth century; a bust of the Marquis de la Fère-Alais, the Cevenole poet, is of the nineteenth; a monument of bronze, to the glory of Pasteur, dates from 1896; and various other bronze and stone memorials about the city all date and perpetuate the name and fame of eighteenth and nineteenth-century notables.

The Musée—another recent creation—occupies the former episcopal residence, of eighteenth-century construction.

The Hôtel de Ville is quite the most charming building of the city. It has fine halls and corridors, and an ample bibliothèque. Its present-day Salle du Conseil was the ancient chamber of the États du Languedoc.



The Savoian city of Annecy was formerly the ancient capital of the Genevois.

Its past history is more closely allied with other political events than those which emanated from within the kingdom of France; and its ecclesiastical allegiance was intimately related with Geneva, from whence the episcopal seat was removed in 1535.

In reality the Christian activities of Annecy had but little to do with the Church in France, Savoie only having been ceded to France in 1860. Formerly it belonged to the ducs de Savoie and the kings of Sardinia.

Annecy is a most interesting city, and possesses many, if not quite all, of the attractions of Geneva itself, including the Lake of Annecy, which is quite as romantically picturesque as Lac Leman, though its proportions are not nearly so great.

The city's interest for the lover of religious associations is perhaps greater than for the lover of church architecture alone, but, as the two must perforce go hand in hand the greater part of the way, Annecy will be found to rank high in the annals of the history and art of the religious life of the past.

In the chapel of the Visitation, belonging to the convent of the same name, are buried St. François de Sales (d. 1622) and Ste. Jeanne de Chantal (d. 1641). The chapel is architecturally of no importance, but the marble ornament and sculptures and the rich paintings are interesting.

The ancient chapel of the Visitation—the convent of the first monastery founded by St. Francis and Ste. Jeanne—immediately adjoins the cathedral.

Christianity first came to Annecy in the fourth century, with St. Emilien. For long after its foundation the see was a suffragan of the ancient ecclesiastical province of Vienne. To-day it is a suffragan of Chambéry.

The rather ordinary cathedral of St. Pierre has no great interest as an architectural type, and is possessed of no embellishments of a rank sufficiently high to warrant remark. It dates only from the sixteenth century, and is quite unconvincing as to any art expression which its builders may have possessed.

The episcopal palace (1784) adjoins the cathedral on the south.



The city of Chambéry in the eighteenth century must have been a veritable hotbed of aristocracy. A French writer of that day has indeed stated that it is "the winter residence of all the aristocracy of Savoie; ... with twenty thousand francs one could live en grand seigneur; ... a country gentleman, with an income of a hundred and twenty louis d'or a year, would as a matter of course take up his abode in the town for the winter."

To-day such a basis upon which to make an estimate of the value of Chambéry as a place of residence would be, it is to be feared, misleading.

Arthur Young closes his observations upon the agricultural prospects of Savoie with the bold statement that: "On this day, left Chambéry much dissatisfied,—for the want of knowing more of it."

Rousseau knew it better, much better. "S'il est une petite ville au monde où l'on goûte la douceur de la vie dans un commerce agréable et sûr, c'est Chambéry."

Savoie and the Comté de Nice were annexed to France only as late as 1860, and from them were formed the departments of Savoie, Haute-Savoie, and the Alpes-Maritimes.

Chambéry is to-day an archbishopric, with suffragans at Annecy, Tarentaise, and St. Jean de Maurienne. Formerly conditions were reversed, and Chambéry was merely a bishopric in the province de Tarentaise. Its first bishop, Michel Conseil, came in office, however, only in 1780.

The cathedral is of the fourteenth century, in the pointed style, and as a work of art is distinctly of a minor class.

The principal detail of note is a western portal which somewhat approaches good Gothic, but in the main, both inside and out, the church has no remarkable features, if we except some modern glass, which is better in colour than most late work of its kind.

As if to counteract any additional charm which this glass might otherwise lend to the interior, we find a series of flamboyant traceries over the major portion of the side walls and vaulting. These are garish and in every way unpleasing, and the interior effect, like that of the exterior, places the cathedral at Chambéry far down the scale among great churches.

Decidedly the architectural embellishments of Chambéry lie not in its cathedral.

The chapel of the ancient château, dating in part from the thirteenth century, but mainly of the Gothic-Renaissance period, is far and away the most splendid architectural monument of its class to be seen here.

La Grande Chartreuse is equally accessible from either Chambéry or Grenoble, and should not be neglected when one is attempting to familiarize himself with these parts.



It is an open question as to whether Grenoble is not possessed of the most admirable and impressive situation of any cathedral city of France.

At all events it has the attribute of a unique background in the massif de la Chartreuse, and the range of snow-clad Alps, which rise so abruptly as to directly screen and shelter the city from all other parts lying north and east. Furthermore this natural windbreak, coupled with the altitude of the city itself, makes for a bright and sunny, and withal bracing, atmosphere which many professed tourist and health resorts lack.

Grenoble is in all respects "a most pleasant city," and one which contains much of interest for all sorts and conditions of pilgrims.

Anciently Grenoble was a bishopric in the diocese of the Province of Vienne, to whose archbishop the see was at that time subordinate. Its foundation was during the third century, and its first prelate was one Domninus.

In the redistribution of dioceses Grenoble became a suffragan of Lyon et Vienne, which is its status to-day.

As might naturally be inferred, in the case of so old a foundation, its present-day cathedral of Notre Dame partakes also of early origin.

This it does, to a small degree only, with respect to certain of the foundations of the choir. These date from the eleventh century, while succeeding eras, of a mixed and none too pure an architectural style, culminate in presenting a singularly unconvincing and cold church edifice.

The "pointed" tabernacle, which is the chief interior feature, is of the middle fifteenth century, and indeed the general effect is that of the late Middle Ages, if not actually suggestive of still later modernity.

The tomb of Archbishop Chissé, dating from 1407, is the cathedral's chief monumental shrine.

To the left of the cathedral is the ancient bishop's palace; still used as such. It occupies the site of an eleventh-century episcopal residence, but the structure itself is probably not earlier than the fifteenth century.

In the Église de St. André, a thirteenth-century structure, is a tomb of more than usual sentimental and historical interest: that of Bayard. It will be found in the transept.

No mention of Grenoble could well ignore the famous monastery of La Grande Chartreuse.

Mostly, it is to be feared, the monastery is associated in mundane minds with that subtle and luxurious liqueur which has been brewed by the white-robed monks of St. Bruno for ages past; and was until quite recently, when the establishment was broken up by government decree and the real formula of this sparkling liqueur departed with the migrating monks.

The opinion is ventured, however, that up to the time of their expulsion (in 1902), the monks of St. Bruno combined solitude, austerity, devotion, and charity of a most practical kind with a lucrative commerce in their distilled product after a successful manner not equalled by any religious community before or since.

S. Bruno S. Bruno

The Order of St. Bruno has weathered many storms, and, during the Terror, was driven from its home and dispersed by brutal and riotous soldiery. In 1816 a remnant returned, escorted, it is said, by a throng of fifty thousand people.

The cardinal rule of the Carthusians is abstemiousness from all meat-eating; which, however, in consideration of their calm, regular life, and a diet in which fish plays an important part, is apparently conducive to that longevity which most of us desire.

It is related that a certain Dominican pope wished to diminish the severity of St. Bruno's regulations, but was met by a delegation of Carthusians, whose doyen owned to one hundred and twenty years, and whose youngest member was of the ripe age of ninety. The amiable pontiff, not having, apparently, an argument left, accordingly withdrew his edict.

Of all these great Charterhouses spread throughout France, La Grande Chartreuse was the most inspiring and interesting; not only from the structure itself, but by reason of its commanding and romantic situation amid the forest-clad heights of the Savoyan Alps.

The first establishment here was the foundation of St. Bruno (in 1084), which consisted merely of a modest chapel and a number of isolated cubicles.

This foundation only gave way—as late as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—to an enlarged structure more in accord with the demands and usage of this period.

The most distinctive feature of its architecture is the grand cloister, with its hundred and fifteen Gothic arches, out of which open the sixty cells of the sandalled and hooded white-robed monks, who, continuing St. Bruno's regulation, live still in isolation. In these cells they spent all of their time outside the hours of work and worship, but were allowed the privilege of receiving one colleague at a time. Here, too, they ate their meals, with the exception of the principal meal on Sundays, when they all met together in the refectory.

The Église de la Grande Chartreuse itself is very simple, about the only distinctive or notable feature being the sixteenth-century choir-stalls. At the midnight service, or at matins, when the simple church is lit only by flaming torches, and the stalls filled with white-robed Chartreux, is presented a picture which for solemnity and impressiveness is as vivid as any which has come down from mediæval times.

The chanting of the chorals, too, is unlike anything heard before; it has indeed been called, before now, angelic. Petrarch, whose brother was a member of the order, has put himself on record as having been enchanted by it.

As many as ten thousand visitors have passed through the portals of La Grande Chartreuse during the year, but now in the absence of the monks—temporary or permanent as is yet to be determined—conditions obtain which will not allow of entrance to the conventual buildings.

No one, however, who visits either Grenoble or Chambéry should fail to journey to St. Laurent du Pont—the gateway of the fastness which enfolds La Grande Chartreuse, and thence to beneath the shadow of the walls which for so long sheltered the parent house of this ancient and powerful order.





En route to Chambéry, from Lyon, one passes the little town of Belley. It is an ancient place, most charmingly situated, and is a suffragan bishopric, strangely enough, of Besançon, which is not only Teutonic in its tendencies, but is actually of the north.

At all events, Belley, in spite of its clear and crisp mountain air, is not of the same climatic zone as the other dioceses in the archbishopric of Besançon.

Its cathedral is distinctly minor as to style, and is mainly Gothic of the fifteenth century; though not unmixed, nor even consistent, in its various parts. No inconsiderable portion is modern, as will be plainly seen.

One distinctly notable feature is a series of Romanesque columns in the nave, possibly taken from some pagan Roman structure. They are sufficiently of importance and value to be classed as "Monuments Historiques," and as such are interesting.

Aoste (Aoste-St.-Genix) is on the site of the Roman colony of Augustum, of which to-day there are but a few fragmentary remains. It is perhaps a little more than a mile from the village of St. Genix, with which to-day its name is invariably coupled. As an ancient bishopric in the province of Tarentaise, it took form in the fourth century, with St. Eustache as its first bishop. To-day the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of all this region—the Val-de-Tarentaise—is held by Tarentaise.



St. Jean de Maurienne is a tiny mountain city well within the advance-guard of the Alpine range. Of itself it savours no more of the picturesque than do the immediate surroundings. One can well understand that vegetation round about has grown scant merely because of the dearth of fructifying soil. The valleys and the ravines flourish, but the enfolding walls of rock are bare and sterile.

This is the somewhat abbreviated description of the pagi garnered from an ancient source, and is, in the main, true enough to-day.

Not many casual travellers ever get to this mountain city of the Alps; they are mostly rushed through to Italy, and do not stop short of the frontier station of Modane, some thirty odd kilometres onward; from which point onward only do they know the "lie of the land" between Paris and Piedmont.

St. Jean de Maurienne is to-day, though a suffragan of Chambéry, a bishopric in the old ecclesiastical province of Tarentaise. The first archbishop—as the dignity was then—was St. Jacques, in the fifth century.

The cathedral of St. Jean is of a peculiar architectural style, locally known as "Chartreusian." It is by no means beautiful, but it is not unpleasing. It dates, as to the epoch of its distinctive style, from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, though it has been so fully restored in our day that it may as well be considered as a rebuilt structure, in spite of the consistent devotion to the original plan.

The chief features of note are to be seen in its interior, and, while they are perhaps not of extraordinary value or beauty, in any single instance, they form, as a whole, a highly interesting disposition of devout symbols.

Immediately within the portico, by which one enters from the west, is a plaster model of the tomb of Count Humbert, the head of the house of Savoie.

In the nave is an altar and mausoleum in marble, gold, and mosaic, erected by the Carthusians to St. Ayrald, a former bishop of the diocese and a member of their order.

In the left aisle of the nave is a tomb to Oger de Conflans, and another to two former bishops.

Through the sacristy, which is behind the chapel of the Sacred Heart, is the entrance to the cloister. This cloister, while not of ranking greatness or beauty, is carried out, in the most part, in the true pointed style of its era (1452), and is, on the whole, the most charming attribute of the cathedral.

The choir has a series of carved stalls in wood, which are unusually acceptable. In the choir, also, is a ciborium, in alabaster, with a reliquaire which is said to contain three fingers of John the Baptist, brought to Savoie in the sixth century by Ste. Thècle.

The crypt, beneath the choir, is, as is most frequently the case, the remains of a still earlier church, which occupied the same site, but of which there is little record extant.



St. Claude is charmingly situated in a romantic valley of the Jura.

The sound of mill-wheels and the sight of factory chimneys mingle inextricably with the roaring of mountain torrents and the solitude of the pine forest.

The majority of the inhabitants of these valleys lead a simple and pastoral life, with cheese-making apparently the predominant industry. Manufacturing of all kinds is carried on, in a small way, in nearly every hamlet—in tiny cottage ateliers—wood-carving, gem-polishing, spectacle and clock-making, besides turnery and wood-working of all sorts.

de ST.

St. Claude, with its ancient cathedral of St. Pierre, is the centre of all these activities; which must suggest to all publicists of time-worn and ennuied lands a deal of possibilities in the further application of such industrial energies as lie close at hand.

In 1789, when Arthur Young, in his third journey through France, passed through St. Claude, the count-bishop of the diocese, the sole inheritor of its wealthy abbey foundation and all its seigneurial dependencies, had only just enfranchised his forty thousand serfs.

Voltaire, the atheist, pleaded in vain the cause of this Christian prelate, and for him to be allowed to sustain his right to bond-men; but opposition was too great, and they became free to enjoy property rights, could they but once acquire them. Previously, if childless, they had no power to bequeath their property; it reverted simply to the seigneur by custom of tradition.

In the fifth century, St. Claude was the site of a powerful abbey. It did not become an episcopal see, however, until 1742, when its first bishop was Joseph de Madet.

At the Revolution the see was suppressed, but it rose again, phoenix-like, in 1821, and endures to-day as a suffragan of Lyon et Vienne.

The cathedral of St. Pierre is a fourteenth-century edifice, with later work (seventeenth century) equally to be remarked. As a work of restoration it appears poorly done, but the entire structure is of more than ordinary interest; nevertheless it still remains an uncompleted work.

The church is of exceedingly moderate dimensions, and is in no sense a great achievement. Its length cannot be much over two hundred feet, and its width and height are approximately equal (85 feet), producing a symmetry which is too conventional to be really lovable.

Still, considering its environment and the association as the old abbey church, to which St. Claude, the bishop of Besançon, retired in the twelfth century, it has far more to offer in the way of a pleasing prospect than many cathedrals of greater architectural worth.

There are, in its interior, a series of fine choir-stalls in wood, of the fifteenth century—comparable only with those at Rodez and Albi for their excellence and the luxuriance of their carving—a sculptured Renaissance retable depicting the life of St. Pierre, and a modern high-altar. This last accessory is not as worthy an art work as the two others.

Notre Dame de Bourg

Notre Dame de Bourg



The chief ecclesiastical attraction of Bourg-en-Bresse is not its one-time cathedral of Notre Dame, which is but a poor Renaissance affair of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries.

The famous Église de Brou, which Matthew Arnold described so justly and fully in his verses, is a florid Gothic monument which ranks among the most celebrated in France. It is situated something less than a mile from the town, and is a show-piece which will not be neglected. Its charms are too many and varied to be even suggested here.

There are a series of sculptured figures of the prophets and apostles, from a fifteenth or sixteenth-century atelier, that may or may not have given the latter-day Sargent his suggestion for his celebrated "frieze of the prophets." They are wonderfully like, at all events, and the observation is advisedly included here, though it is not intended as a sneer at Sargent's masterwork.

This wonderful sixteenth-century Église de Brou, in a highly decorated Gothic style, its monuments, altars, and admirable glass, is not elsewhere equalled, as to elaborateness, in any church of its size or rank.

Notre Dame de Bourg—the cathedral—though manifestly a Renaissance structure, has not a little of the Gothic spirit in its interior arrangements and details. It is as if a Renaissance shell—and not a handsome one—were enclosing a Gothic treasure.

There is the unusual polygonal apside, which dates from the fifteenth or sixteenth century, and is the most curious part of the entire edifice.

The octagonal tower of the west has, in its higher story, been replaced by an ugly dome-shaped excrescence surmounted by an enormous gilded cross which is by no means beautiful.

The west façade in general, in whose portal are shown some evidences of the Gothic spirit, which at the time of its erection had not wholly died, is uninteresting and all out of proportion to a church of its rank.

The interior effect somewhat redeems the unpromising exterior.

There is a magnificent marble high-altar, jewel-wrought and of much splendour. The two chapels have modern glass. A fine head of Christ, carved in ivory, is to be seen in the sacristy. Previous to 1789 it was kept in the great council-chamber of the États de la Bresse.

In the sacristy also there are two pictures, of the German school of the sixteenth century.

There are sixty-eight stalls, of the sixteenth century, carved in wood. Curiously enough, these stalls—of most excellent workmanship—are not placed within the regulation confines of the choir, but are ranged in two rows along the wall of the apside.



The diocese of Digne now includes four ci-devant bishoprics, each of which was suppressed at the Revolution.

The ruins of the ancient bishopric of Glandève are to-day replaced by the small town of D'Entrevaux, whose former cathedral of St. Just has now disappeared. The see of Glandève had in all fifty-three bishops, the first—St. Fraterne—in the year 459.

Senez was composed of but thirty-two parishes. It was, however, a very ancient foundation, dating from 445 A. D. Its cathedral was known as Notre Dame, and its chapter was composed of five canons and three dignitaries. At various times forty-three bishops occupied the episcopal throne at Senez.


The suppression likewise made way with the bishopric at Riez, a charming little city of Provence. The see was formerly composed of fifty-four parishes, and its cathedral of Notre Dame had a chapter of eight canons and four dignitaries. The first bishop was St. Prosper, in the early part of the fifth century. Ultimately he was followed by seventy-four others. Two "councils of the church" were held at Riez, the first in 439, and the second in 1285.

The diocese of Sisteron was situated in the charming mountain town of the Basses-Alps. This brisk little fortress-city still offers to the traveller many of the attractions of yore, though its former cathedral of Notre Dame no longer shelters a bishop's throne.

Four dignitaries and eight canons performed the functions of the cathedral, and served the fifty parishes allied with it.

The first bishop was Chrysaphius, in 452, and the last, François Bovet, in 1789. This prelate in 1801 refused the oath of allegiance demanded by the new régime, and forthwith resigned, when the see was combined with that of Digne.

The ancient cathedral of Notre Dame de Sisteron of the eleventh and twelfth centuries is now ranked as a "Monument Historique." It dates, in the main, from the twelfth century, and is of itself no more remarkable than many of the other minor cathedrals of this part of France.

Its chief distinction lies in its grand retable, which is decorated with a series of superb paintings by Mignard.

The city lies picturesquely posed at the foot of a commanding height, which in turn is surmounted by the ancient citadel. Across the defile, which is deeply cut by the river Durance, rises the precipitous Mont de la Baume, which, with the not very grand or splendid buildings of the city itself, composes the ensemble at once into a distinctively "old-world" spot, which the march of progress has done little to temper.

It looks not a little like a piece of stage-scenery, to be sure, but it is a wonderful grouping of the works of nature and of the hand of man, and one which it will be difficult to duplicate elsewhere in France; in fact, it will not be possible to do so.



The diocese of Digne, among all of its neighbours, has survived until to-day. It is a suffragan of Aix, Arles, and Embrun, and has jurisdiction over the whole of the Department of the Basses-Alps. St. Domnin became its first bishop, in the fourth century.

The ancient Romanesque cathedral of Notre Dame—from which the bishop's seat has been removed to the more modern St. Jerome—is an unusually interesting old church, though bare and unpretentious to-day. It dates from the twelfth century, and has all the distinguishing marks of its era. Its nave is, moreover, a really fine work, and worthy to rank with many more important. There are, in this nave, some traces of a series of curious wall-paintings dating from the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries.

St. Jerome de Digne—called la cathédrale fort magnifiante—is a restored Gothic church of the early ages of the style, though it has been placed—in some doubt—as of the fifteenth century.

The apse is semicircular, without chapels, and the general effect of the interior as a whole is curiously marred by reason of the lack of transepts, clerestory, and triforium.

This notable poverty of feature is perhaps made up for by the amplified side aisles, which are doubled throughout.

The western portal, which is of an acceptable modern Gothic, is of more than usual interest as to its decorations. In the tympanum of the arch is a figure of the Saviour giving his blessing, with the emblems of the Evangelists below, and an angel and the pelican—the emblem of the sacrament—above. Beneath the figure of the Saviour is another of St. Jerome, the patron, to whom the cathedral is dedicated.

A square, ungainly tower holds a noisy peal of bells, which, though a great source of local pride, can but prove annoying to the stranger, with their importunate and unseemly clanging.

The chief accessories, in the interior, are an elaborate organ-case,—of the usual doubtful taste,—a marble statue of St. Vincent de Paul (by Daumas, 1869), and a sixteenth or seventeenth-century statue of a former bishop of the diocese.

Digne has perhaps a more than ordinary share of picturesque environment, seated, as it is, luxuriously in the lap of the surrounding mountains.

St. Domnin, the first bishop, came, it is said, from Africa at a period variously stated as from 330 to 340 A. D., but, at any rate, well on into the fourth century. His enthronement appears to have been undertaken amid much heretical strife, and was only accomplished with the aid of St. Marcellin, the archbishop of Embrun, of which the diocese of Digne was formerly a suffragan.

The good St. Domnin does not appear to have made great headway in putting out the flame of heresy, though his zeal was great and his miracles many. He departed this world before the dawn of the fifth century, and his memory is still brought to the minds of the communicants of the cathedral each year on the 13th of February—his fête-day—by the display of a reliquary, which is said to contain—somewhat unemphatically—the remains of his head and arm.

Wonderful cures are supposed to result to the infirm who view this relique in a proper spirit of veneration, and devils are warranted to be cast out from the true believer under like conditions.

A council of the Church was held at Digne in 1414.



The Augusta Dia of the Romans is to-day a diminutive French town lying at the foot of the colline whose apex was formerly surmounted by the more ancient city.

It takes but little ecclesiastical rank, and is not even a tourist resort of renown. It is, however, a shrine which encloses and surrounds many monuments of the days which are gone, and is possessed of an ancient Arc de Triomphe which would attract many of the genus "touriste", did they but realize its charm.

The cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin, sheltered a bishop's throne from the foundation of the bishopric until 1285, when a hiatus ensued—apparently from some inexplicable reason—until 1672, when its episcopal dignity again came into being. Finally, in 1801, the diocese came to an end. St. Mars was the first bishop, the see having been founded in the third century.

The porch of this cathedral is truly remarkable, having been taken from a former temple to Cybele, and dates at least from some years previous to the eleventh century. Another portal of more than usual remark—known as the porte rouge—is fashioned from contemporary fragments of the same period.

While to all intents and purposes the cathedral is an early architectural work, its rank to-day is that of a restored or rebuilt church of the seventeenth century.

The nave is one of the largest in this part of France, being 270 feet in length and seventy-six feet in width. It has no side aisles and is entirely without pillars to break its area, which of course appears more vast than it really is.

What indications there are which would place the cathedral among any of the distinct architectural styles are of the pointed variety.

Aside from its magnificent dimensions, there are no interior features of remark except a gorgeous Renaissance pulpit and a curious cène.



Apt is doubtfully claimed to have been a bishopric under St. Auspice in the first century, but the ancient Apta Julia of Roman times is to-day little more than an interesting by-point, with but little importance in either ecclesiological or art matters.

Its cathedral—as a cathedral—ceased to exist in 1790. It is of the species which would be generally accepted as Gothic, so far as exterior appearances go, but it is bare and poor in ornament and design, and as a type ranks far down the scale.

In its interior arrangements the style becomes more florid, and takes on something of the elaborateness which in a more thoroughly worthy structure would be unremarked.

The chief decoration lies in the rather elaborate jubé, or choir-screen, which stands out far more prominently than any other interior feature, and is without doubt an admirable example of this not too frequent attribute of a French church.

Throughout there are indications of the work of many epochs and eras, from the crypt of the primitive church to the Chapelle de Ste. Anne, constructed by Mansard in the seventeenth century. This chapel contains some creditable paintings by Parrocel, and yet others, in a still better style, by Mignard.

The crypt, which formed a part of the earlier church on this site, is the truly picturesque feature of the cathedral at Apt, and, like many of its kind, is now given over to a series of subterranean chapels.

Among the other attributes of the interior are a tomb of the Ducs de Sabron, a marble altar of the twelfth century, a precious enamel of the same era, and a Gallo-Romain sarcophagus of the fifth century.

As to the exterior effect and ensemble, the cathedral is hardly to be remarked, either in size or splendour, from the usual parish church of the average small town of France. It does not rise to a very ambitious height, neither does its ground-plan suggest magnificent proportions. Altogether it proves to be a cathedral which is neither very interesting nor even picturesque.

The little city itself is charmingly situated on the banks of the Coulon, a small stream which runs gaily on its way to the Durance, at times torrential, which in turn goes to swell the flood of the Rhône below Avignon.

The former bishop's palace is now the préfecture and Mairie.



Embrun, not unlike its neighbouring towns in the valley of the Durance, is possessed of the same picturesque environment as Sisteron and Digne. It is perched high on that species of eminence known in France as a colline, though in this case it does not rise to a very magnificent height; what there is of it, however, serves to accentuate the picturesque element as nothing else would.

The episcopal dignity of the town is only partial; it shares the distinction with Aix and Arles.

The Église Notre Dame, though it is still locally known as "la cathédrale," is of the twelfth century, and has a wonderful old Romanesque north porch and peristyle set about with gracefully proportioned columns, the two foremost of which are supported upon the backs of a pair of weird-looking animals, which are supposed to represent the twelfth-century stone-cutter's conception of the king of beasts. In the tympanum of this portal are sculptured figures of Christ and the Evangelists, in no wise of remarkable quality, but indicating, with the other decorative features, a certain luxuriance which is not otherwise suggested in the edifice.

The Romanesque tower which belongs to the church proper is, as to its foundations, of very early date, though, as a finished detail, it is merely a rebuilt fourteenth-century structure carried out on the old lines. There is another tower, commonly called "la tour brune," which adjoins the ancient bishop's palace, and dates from at least a century before the main body of the church.

The entire edifice presents an architectural mélange that makes it impossible to classify it as of any one specific style, but the opinion is hazarded that it is all the more interesting a shrine because of this incongruity.

The choir, too, indicates that it has been built up from fragments of a former fabric, while the west front is equally unconvincing, and has the added curious effect of presenting a variegated façade, which is, to say the least and the most, very unusual. A similar suggestion is found occasionally in the Auvergne, but the interweaving of party-coloured stone, in an attempt to produce variety, has too often not been taken advantage of. In this case it is not so very pleasing, but one has a sort of sympathetic regard for it nevertheless.

In the interior there are no constructive features of remark; indeed there is little embellishment of any sort. There is an eighteenth-century altar, in precious marbles, worked after the old manner, and in the sacristy some altar-fittings of elaborately worked Cordovan leather, a triptych which is dated 1518, some brilliant glass of the fifteenth century, and in the nave a Renaissance organ-case which encloses an organ of the early sixteenth century.

Near by is Mont St. Guillaume (2,686 metres), on whose heights is a sanctuaire frequented by pilgrims from round about the whole valley of the Durance.

From "Quentin Durward," one recalls the great devotion of the Dauphin of France—Louis XI.—for the statue of Notre Dame d'Embrun.



Gap is an ancient and most attractive little city of the Maritime Alps, of something less than ten thousand inhabitants.

Its cathedral is also the parish church, which suggests that the city is not especially devout.

The chapter of the cathedral consists of eight canons, who, considering that the spiritual life of the entire Department of the Hautes-Alpes—some hundred and fifty thousand souls—is in their care, must have a very busy time of it.

St. Demetrius, the friend of St. John the Evangelist, has always been regarded as the first apostle and bishop of the diocese. He came from Rome to Gaul in the reign of Claudian, and began his work of evangelization in the environs of Vienne under St. Crescent, the disciple of St. Paul. From Vienne Demetrius came immediately to Gap and established the diocese here.

Numerous conversions were made and the Church quickly gained adherents, but persecution was yet rife, as likewise was superstition, and the priests were denounced to the governors of the province, who forthwith put them to death in true barbaric fashion.

Amid these inflictions, however, and the later Protestant persecutions in Dauphiné, the diocese grew to great importance, and endures to-day as a suffragan of Aix, Arles, and Embrun.

The Église de Gap has even yet the good fortune to possess personal reliques of her first bishop, and accordingly displays them with due pride and ceremony on his jour de fête, the 26th October of each year. Says a willing but unknowing French writer: "Had Demetrius—who came to Gap in the first century—any immediate successors? That we cannot say. It is a period of three hundred years which separates his tenure from that of St. Constantine, the next prelate of whom the records tell."

Three other dioceses of the former ecclesiastical province have been suppressed, and Gap alone has lived to exert its tiny sphere of influence upon the religious life of the present day.

The history of Gap has been largely identified with the Protestant cause in Dauphiné. There is, in the Prefecture, a monument to the Due de Lesdiguières—Françoise de Bonne—who, from the leadership of the Protestants went over to the Roman faith, in consideration of his being given the rank of Connétable de France. Why the mere fact of his apostasy should have been a sufficient and good reason for this aggrandizement, it is difficult to realize in this late day; though we know of a former telegraph messenger who became a count.

Another reformer, Guillaume Farel, was born and lived at Gap. "He preached his first sermon," says History, "at the mill of Burée, and his followers soon drove the Catholics from the place; when he himself took possession of the pulpits of the town."

From all this dissension from the Roman faith—though it came comparatively late in point of time—rose the apparent apathy for church-building which resulted in the rather inferior cathedral at Gap.

No account of this unimportant church edifice could possibly be justly coloured with enthusiasm. It is not wholly a mean structure, but it is unworthy of the great activities of the religious devotion of the past, and has no pretence to architectural worth, nor has it any of the splendid appointments which are usually associated with the seat of a bishop's throne.

Notre Dame de l'Assomption is a modern edifice in the style Romano-Gothique, and its construction, though elaborate both inside and out, is quite unappealing.

This is the more to be marvelled at, in that the history of the diocese is so full of incident; so far, in fact, in advance of what the tangible evidences would indicate.



Vence,—the ancient Roman city of Ventium,—with five other dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Embrun, was suppressed—as the seat of a bishop—in 1790. It had been a suffragan bishopric of Embrun since its foundation by Eusèbe in the fourth century.

The ancient cathedral of Notre Dame is supposed to show traces of workmanship of the sixth, tenth, twelfth, and fifteenth centuries, but, excepting that of the latter era, it will be difficult for the casual observer to place the distinctions of style.

The whole ensemble is of grim appearance; so much so that one need not hesitate to place it well down in the ranks of the church-builder's art, and, either from poverty of purse or purpose, it is quite undistinguished.

In its interior there are a few features of unusual remark: an ancient sarcophagus, called that of St. Véran; a retable of the sixteenth century; some rather good paintings, by artists apparently unknown; and a series of fifty-one fifteenth-century choir-stalls of quite notable excellence, and worth more as an expression of artistic feeling than all the other features combined.

The only distinction as to constructive features is the fact that there are no transepts, and that the aisles which surround the nave are doubled.



The small city of Sion, the capital of the Valais, looks not unlike the pictures one sees in sixteenth-century historical works.

It is brief, confined, and unobtrusive. It was so in feudal times, when most of its architecture partook of the nature of a stronghold. It is so to-day, because little of modernity has come into its life.

The city, town, or finally village—for it is hardly more, from its great lack of activity—lies at the foot of three lofty, isolated eminences. A great conflagration came to Sion early in the nineteenth century which resulted in a new lay-out of the town and one really fine modern thoroughfare, though be it still remarked its life is yet mediæval.

Upon one of these overshadowing heights is the present episcopal residence, and on another the remains of a fortress—formerly the stronghold of the bishops of Sion. On this height of La Valère stands the very ancient church of Ste. Catherine (with a tenth or eleventh-century choir), occupying, it is said, the site of a Roman temple.

In the mid-nineteenth century the Jesuits gained a considerable influence here and congregated in large numbers.

The city was the ancient Sedanum, and in olden time the bishop bore also the title of "Prince of the Holy Empire." The power of this prelate was practically unlimited, and ordinances of state were, as late as the beginning of the nineteenth century, made in his name, and his arms formed the embellishments of the public buildings and boundary posts.

Rudolf III., king of Burgundy, from the year 1000, made them counts of Valais.

St. Théodule was the first bishop of Sion,—in the fourth century,—and is the patron of the diocese.

In 1070 the bishop of Sion came to England as papal legate to consecrate Walkelin to the see of Winchester.

In 1516 Bishop Schinner came to England to procure financial aid from Henry VIII. to carry on war against France.

The cathedral in the lower town is a fifteenth-century work which ought—had the manner of church-building here in this isolated region kept pace with the outside world—to be Renaissance in style. In reality, it suggests nothing but the earliest of Gothic, and, in parts, even Romanesque; therefore it is to be remarked, if not admired.

Near by is the modern episcopal residence.

The records tell of the extraordinary beauty and value of the trésor, which formerly belonged to the cathedral: an ivory pyx, a reliquary, and a magnificent manuscript of the Gospels—given by Charles the Great to St. Maurice, and acquired by the town in the fourteenth century. This must at some former time have been dispersed, as no trace of it is known to-day.

Sion was formerly a suffragan bishopric of Tarantaise, which in turn has become to-day a suffragan of Chambéry.



St. Paul Trois Châteaux is a very old settlement. As a bishopric it was known anciently as Tricastin, and dates from the second century. St. Restuit was its first bishop. It was formerly the seat of the ancient Roman colony of Augusta Tricastinorum. Tradition is responsible for the assertion that St. Paul was the first prelate of the diocese, and being born blind was cured by Jesus Christ. This holy man, after having recovered his sight, took the name of Restuit, under which name he is still locally honoured. One of his successors erected to his honour, in the fourth century, a chapel and an altar. These, of course have disappeared—hence we have only tradition, which, to say the least, and the most, is, in this case, quite legendary.

The city was devastated in the fifth century by the Vandals; in 1736 by the Saracens; and taken and retaken by the Protestants and Catholics in the fourteenth century.

As a bishopric the "Tricastin city" comprised but thirty-six parishes, and in the rearrangement attendant upon the Revolution was suppressed altogether. Ninety-five bishops in all had their seats here up to the time of suppression. Certainly the religious history of this tiny city has been most vigorous and active.

The city conserves to-day somewhat of its ancient birthright, and is a picturesque and romantic spot, in which all may tarry awhile amid its tortuous streets and the splendid remains of its old-time builders. Few do drop off, even, in their annual rush southward, in season or out, and the result is that St. Paul Trois Châteaux is to-day a delightfully "old world" spot in the most significant meaning of the phrase.

Of course the habitant still refers to the seat of the former bishop's throne as a cathedral, and it is with pardonable pride that he does so.

This precious old eleventh and twelfth-century church is possessed of as endearing and interesting an aspect as the city itself. It has been restored in recent times, but is much hidden by the houses which hover around its walls. It has a unique portal which opens between two jutting columns whose shafts uphold nothing—not even capitals.

In fact, the general plan of the cathedral follows that of the Latin cross, though in this instance it is of rather robust proportions. The transepts, which are neither deep nor wide, are terminated with an apse, as is also the choir, which depends, for its embellishments, upon the decorative effect produced by eight Corinthian columns.

The interior, the nave in particular, is of unusual height for a not very grand structure; perhaps eighty feet. Its length is hardly greater.

The orders of columns rise vaultwards, surmounted by a simple entablature. These are perhaps not of the species that has come to be regarded as good form in Christian architecture, but which, for many reasons, have found their way into church-building, both before and since the rise of Gothic.

Under a triforium, in blind, is a sculptured drapery; again a feature more pagan than Christian, but which is here more pleasing than when usually found in such a false relation.

Both these details are in imitation of the antique, and, since they date from long before the simulating of pseudo-classical details became a mere fad, are the more interesting and valuable as an art-expression of the time.

For the rest, this one-time cathedral is uncommon and most singular in all its parts, though nowhere of very great inherent beauty.

An ancient gateway bears a statue of the Virgin. It was the gift of a former Archbishop of Paris to the town of his birth.

An ancient Dominican convent is now the École Normale des Petits Frères de Marie. Within its wall have recently been discovered a valuable mosaic work, and a table or altar of carved stone.

In the suburbs of the town have also recently been found much beautiful Roman work of a decorative nature; a geometric parchment in mosaic; a superb lamp, in worked bronze; a head of Mercury (now in the Louvre), and much treasure which would make any antiquarian literally leap for joy, were he but present when they were unearthed.

Altogether the brief résumé should make for a desire to know more of this ancient city whose name, even, is scarcely known to those much-travelled persons who cross and recross France in pursuit of the pleasures of convention alone.


The Mediterranean Coast



The Mediterranean shore of the south of France, that delectable land which fringes the great tideless sea, bespeaks the very spirit of history and romance, of Christian fervour, and of profane riot and bloodshed.

Its ancient provinces,—Lower Languedoc, the Narbonensis of Gaul; Provence, the most glorious and golden of all that went to make up modern France,—the mediæval capital of King René, Aix-en-Provence, and the commercial capital of the Phoceans (559 B. C.), Massilia, all combine in a wealth of storied lore which is inexhaustible.

The tide of latter-day travel descends the Rhône to Marseilles, turns eastward to the conventional pleasures of the Riviera, and utterly neglects the charms of La Crau, St. Rémy, Martiques, and Aigues-Mortes; or the more progressive, though still ancient cathedral cities of Montpellier, Béziers, Narbonne, or Perpignan.

There is no question but that the French Riviera is, in winter, a land of sunshiny days, cool nights, and the more or the less rapid life of fashion. Which of these attractions induces the droves of personally-, semi-, and non-conducted tourists to journey thither, with the first advent of northern rigour, is doubtful; it is probably, however, a combination of all three.

It is a beautiful strip of coast-line from Marseilles to Mentone, and its towns and cities are most attractively placed. But a sojourn there "in the season," amid the luxury of a "palace-hotel," or the bareness of a mediocre pension, is a thing to be dreaded. Seekers after health and pleasure are supposed to be wonderfully recouped by the process; but this is more than doubtful. Vice is rarely attractive, but it is always made attractive, and weak tea and pain de ménage in a Riviera boarding-house are no more stimulating than elsewhere; hence the many virtues of this sunlit land are greatly nullified.

"A peculiarity of the Riviera is that each of the prominent watering-places possesses a tutelary deity of our own. (Modest this!) Thus, for instance, no visitor to Cannes is allowed to forget the name of Lord Brougham, while the interest at Beaulieu and Cap Martin centres around another great English statesman, Lord Salisbury. Cap d'Antibes has (or had) for its genius loci Grant Allen, and Valescure is chiefly concerned with Mrs. Humphry Ward and Mrs. Oliphant."

This quotation is, perhaps, enough to make the writer's point here: Why go to the Riviera to think of Lord Brougham, long since dead and gone, any more than to Monte Carlo to be reminded of the unfortunate end which happened to the great system for "breaking the bank" of Lord——, a nineteenth-century nobleman of notoriety—if not of fame?

The charm of situation of the Riviera is great, and the interest awakened by its many reminders of the historied past is equally so; but, with regard to its architectural remains, the most ready and willing temperament will be doomed to disappointment.

The cathedral cities of the Riviera are not of irresistible attraction as shrines of the Christian faith; but they have much else, either within their confines or in the immediate neighbourhood, which will go far to make up for the deficiency of their religious monuments.

It is not that the architectural remains of churches of another day, and secular establishments, are wholly wanting. Far from it; Fréjus, Toulon, Grasse, and Cannes are possessed of delightful old churches, though they are not of ranking greatness, or splendour.

Still the fact remains that, of themselves, the natural beauties of the region and the heritage of a historic past are not enough to attract the throngs which, for any one of a dozen suspected reasons, annually, from November to March, flock hither to this range of towns, which extends from Hyères and St. Raphael, on the west, to Bordighera and Ospadeletti, just over the Italian border, on the east.

It is truly historic ground, this; perhaps more visibly impressed upon the mind and imagination than any other in the world, if we except the Holy Land itself.

Along this boundary were the two main routes, by land and by water, through which the warlike and civil institutions of Rome first made their way into Gaul, conquered it, and impressed thereon indelibly for five hundred years the mighty power which their ambition urged forward.

At Cimiez, a suburb of Nice, they have left a well-preserved amphitheatre; at Antibes the remains of Roman towers; Villefranche—the port of Nice—was formerly a Roman port; Fréjus, the former Forum Julii, has remains of its ancient harbour, its city walls, an amphitheatre, a gateway, and an arch, and, at some distance from the city, the chief of all neighbouring remains, an aqueduct, the crumbling stones of which can be traced for many miles.

Above the promontory of Monaco, where the Alps abruptly meet the sea, stands the tiny village of La Turbie, some nineteen hundred feet above the waters of the sparklingly brilliant Mediterranean. Here stands that venerable ruined tower, the great Trophœa Augusti of the Romans, now stayed and strutted by modern masonry. It commemorates the Alpine victories of the first of the emperors, and overlooks both Italy and France. Stripped to-day of the decorations and sculptures which once graced its walls, it stands as a reminder of the first splendid introduction of the luxuriant architecture of Rome into the precincts of the Western Empire.

Here it may be recalled that sketching, even from the hilltops, is a somewhat risky proceeding for the artist. The surrounding eminences—as would be likely so near the Italian border—are frequently capped with a fortress, and occupied by a small garrison, the sole duty of whose commandant appears to be "heading off," or worse, those who would make a picturesque note of the environment of this ci-devant Roman stronghold. The process of transcribing "literary notes" is looked upon with equal suspicion, or even greater disapproval, in that—in English—they are not so readily translated as is even a bad drawing. So the admonition is here advisedly given for "whom it may concern."

From the Rhône eastward, Marseilles alone has any church of a class worthy to rank with those truly great. Its present cathedral of Ste. Marie-Majeure assuredly takes, both as to its plan and the magnitude on which it has been carried out, the rank of a masterwork of architecture. It is a modern cathedral, but it is a grand and imposing basilica, after the Byzantine manner.

Westward, if we except Béziers, where there is a commanding cathedral; Narbonne, where the true sky-pointing Gothic is to be found; and Perpignan, where there is a very ancient though peculiarly disposed cathedral, there are no really grand cathedral churches of this or any other day. On the whole, however, all these cities are possessed of a subtle charm of manner and environment which tell a story peculiarly their own.

Foremost among these cities of Southern Gaul, which have perhaps the greatest and most appealing interest for the traveller, are Carcassonne and Aigues-Mortes.

Each of these remarkable reminders of days that are gone is unlike anything elsewhere. Their very decay and practical desertion make for an interest which would otherwise be unattainable.

Aigues-Mortes has no cathedral, nor ever had; but Carcassonne has a very beautiful, though small, example in St. Nazaire, treated elsewhere in this book.

Both Aigues-Mortes and Carcassonne are the last, and the greatest, examples of the famous walled and fortified cities of the Middle Ages.

Aigues-Mortes itself is a mere dead thing of the marshes, which once held ten thousand souls, and witnessed all the pomp and glitter which attended upon the embarking of Louis IX. on his chivalrous, but ill-starred, ventures to the African coasts.

"Here was a city built by the whim of a king—the last of the Royal Crusaders." To-day it is a coffin-like city with perhaps a couple of thousand pallid, shaking mortals, striving against the marsh-fever, among the ruined houses, and within the mouldering walls of an ancient Gothic burgh.

The Ramparts of Aigues-Mortes

The Ramparts of Aigues-Mortes

St. Sauveur d'Aix

St. Sauveur d'Aix



Aix, the former capital of Provence, one of the most famous ancient provinces, the early seat of wealth and civilization, and the native land of the poetry and romance of mediævalism, was the still more ancient Aquæ Sextiæ of the Romans—so named for the hot springs of the neighbourhood. It was their oldest colony in Gaul, and was founded by Sextius Calvinus in B. C. 123.

In King René's time,—"le bon roi" died at Aix in 1480,—Aix-en-Provence was more famous than ever as a "gay capital," where "mirth and song and much good wine" reigned, if not to a degenerate extent, at least to the full expression of liberty.

In 1481, just subsequent to René's death, the province was annexed to the Crown, and fifty years later fell into the hands of Charles V., who was proclaimed King of Arles and Provence. This monarch's reign here was of short duration, and he evacuated the city after two months' tenure.

During all this time the church of Aix, from the foundation of the archbishopric by St. Maxine in the first century (as stated rather doubtfully in the "Gallia Christiania"), ever advanced hand in hand with the mediæval gaiety and splendour that is now past.

Who ever goes to Aix now? Not many Riviera tourists even, and not many, unless they are on a mission bent, will cross the Rhône and the Durance when such appealingly attractive cities as Arles, Avignon, and Nîmes lie on the direct pathway from north to south.

Formerly the see was known as the Province of Aix. To-day it is known as Aix, Arles, and Embrun, and covers the Department of Bouches-du-Rhône, with the exception of Marseilles, which is a suffragan bishopric of itself.

The chief ecclesiastical monuments of Aix are the cathedral of St. Sauveur, with its most unusual baptistère; the church of St. Jean-de-Malte of the fourteenth century; and the comparatively modern early eighteenth-century church of La Madeleine, with a fine "Annunciation" confidently attributed by local experts to Albrecht Dürer.

The cathedral of St. Sauveur is, in part, an eleventh-century church. The portions remaining of this era are not very extensive, but they do exist, and the choir, which was added in the thirteenth century, made the first approach to a completed structure. In the next century the choir was still more elaborated, and the tower and the southern aisle of the nave added. This nave is, therefore, the original nave, as the northern aisle was not added until well into the seventeenth century.

The west façade contains a wonderful, though non-contemporary, door and doorway in wood and stone of the early sixteenth century. This doorway is in two bays, divided by a pier, on which is superimposed a statue of the Virgin and Child, framed by a light garland of foliage and fruits. Above are twelve tiny statuettes of Sibylles or the theological virtues placed in two rows. The lower range of the archivolt is divided by pilasters bearing the symbols of the Evangelists, deeply cut arabesques of the Genii, and the four greater prophets—Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

Taken together, these late sculptures of the early sixteenth century form an unusually mixed lot; but their workmanship and disposition are pleasing and of an excellence which in many carvings of an earlier date is often lacking.

The interior shows early "pointed" and simple round arches, with pilasters and pediment which bear little relation to Gothic, and are yet not Romanesque of the conventional variety. These features are mainly not suggestive of the Renaissance either, though work of this style crops out, as might be expected, in the added north aisle of the nave.

The transepts, too, which are hardly to be remarked from the outside,—being much hemmed about by the surrounding buildings,—also indicate their Renaissance origin.

The real embellishments of the interior are: a triptych—"The Burning Bush," with portraits of King René, Queen Jeanne de Laval, and others; another of "The Annunciation;" a painting of St. Thomas, by a sixteenth-century Flemish artist; and some sixteenth-century tapestries. None of these features, while acceptable enough as works of art, compare in worth or novelty with the tiny baptistère, which is claimed as of the sixth century.

This is an unusual work in Gaul, the only other examples being at Poitiers and Le Puy. It resembles in plan and outline its more famous contemporary at Ravenna, and shows eight antique columns, from a former temple to Apollo, with dark shafts and lighter capitals. The dome has a modern stucco finish, little in keeping with the general tone and purport of this accessory. The cloister of St Sauveur, in the Lombard style, is very curious, with its assorted twisted and plain columns, some even knotted. The origin of its style is again bespoke in certain of the round-headed arches. Altogether, as an accessory to the cathedral, if to no other extent, this Lombard detail is forceful and interesting.



"What would you, then? I say it is most engaging, in winter when the strangers are here, and all work day and night; but it is a much better place in summer, when one can take their ease."

Paul Arène.

Whatever may be the attractions of Nice for the travelled person, they certainly do not lie in or about its cathedral. The guide-books call it simply "the principal ecclesiastical edifice ... of no great interest," which is an apt enough qualification.

In a book which professes to treat of the special subject of cathedral churches, something more is expected, if only to define the reason of the lack of appealing interest.

One might say with the Abbé Bourassé,—who wrote of St. Louis de Versailles,—"It is cold, unfeeling, and without life;" or he might dismiss it with a few words of lukewarm praise, which would be even less satisfying.

More specifically the observation might be passed that the lover of churches will hardly find enough to warrant even passing consideration on the entire Riviera.

This last is in a great measure true, though much of the incident of history and romance is woven about what—so far as the church-lover is concerned—may be termed mere "tourist points."

At all events, he who makes the round, from Marseilles to San Remo in Italy, must to no small extent subordinate his love of ecclesiastical art and—as do the majority of visitors—plunge into a whirl of gaiety (sic) as conventional and unsatisfying as are most fulsome, fleeting pleasures.

The sensation is agreeable enough to most of us, for a time at least, but the forced and artificial gaiety soon palls, and he who puts it all behind him, and strikes inland to Aix and Embrun and the romantically disposed little cathedral towns of the valley of the Durance, will come once again into an architectural zone more in comport with the subject suggested by the title of this book.

It is curious to note that, with the exception of Marseilles and Aix, scarce one of the suffragan dioceses of the ancient ecclesiastical province of Aix, Arles, and Embrun is possessed of a cathedral of the magnitude which we are wont to associate with the churchly dignity of a bishop.

St. Reparata de Nice is dismissed as above; that of Antibes was early transferred or combined with that of Grasse; Grasse itself endured for a time—from 1245 onward—but was suppressed in 1790; Glandève, Senez, and Riez were combined with Digne; while Fréjus has become subordinate to Toulon, though it shares episcopal dignity with that city.

In spite of these changes and the apparently inexplicable tangle of the limits of jurisdiction which has spread over this entire region, religion has, as might be inferred from a study of the movement of early Christianity in Gaul, ever been prominent in the life of the people, and furthermore is of very long standing.

The first bishop of Nice was Amantius, who came in the fourth century. With what effect he laboured and with what real effect his labours resulted, history does not state with minutiæ. The name first given to the diocese was Cemenelium.

In 1802 the diocese of Nice was allied with that of Aix, but in the final readjustment its individuality became its own possession once more, and it is now a bishopric, a suffragan of Marseilles.

As to architectural splendour, or even worth, St. Reparata de Nice has none. It is a poor, mean fabric in the Italian style; quite unsuitable in its dimensions to even the proper exploitation of any beauties that the style of the Renaissance may otherwise possess.

The general impression that it makes upon one is that it is but a makeshift or substitute for something more pretentious which is to come.

The church dates from 1650 only, and is entirely unworthy as an expression of religious art or architecture. The structure itself is bare throughout, and what decorative embellishments there are—though numerous—are gaudy, after the manner of stage tinsel.



The episcopal dignity of Toulon is to-day shared with Fréjus, whereas, at the founding of the diocese, Toulon stood alone as a bishopric in the ecclesiastical province of Arles. This was in the fifth century. When the readjustment came, after the Revolution, the honour was divided with the neighbouring coast town of Fréjus.

In spite of the fact that the cathedral here is of exceeding interest, Toulon is most often thought of as the chief naval station of France in the Mediterranean. From this fact signs of the workaday world are for ever thrusting themselves before one.

As a seaport, Toulon is admirably situated and planned, but the contrast between the new and old quarters of the town and the frowning fortifications, docks, and storehouses is a jumble of utilitarian accessories which does not make for the slightest artistic or æsthetic interest.

Ste. Marie Majeure is a Romanesque edifice of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Its façade is an added member of the seventeenth century, and the belfry of the century following. The church to-day is of some considerable magnitude, as the work of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries comprehended extensive enlargements.

As to its specific style, it has been called Provençal as well as Romanesque. It is hardly one or the other, as the pure types known elsewhere are considered, but rather a blend or transition between the two.

The edifice underwent a twelfth-century restoration, which doubtless was the opportunity for incorporating with the Romanesque fabric certain details which we have come since to know as Provençal.

During the Revolution the cathedral suffered much despoliation, as was usual, and only came through the trial in a somewhat imperfect and poverty-stricken condition. Still, it presents to-day some considerable splendour, if not actual magnificence.

Its nave is for more reasons than one quite remarkable. It has a length of perhaps a hundred and sixty feet, and a width scarcely thirty-five, which gives an astonishing effect of narrowness, but one which bespeaks a certain grace and lightness nevertheless—or would, were its constructive elements of a little lighter order.

In a chapel to the right of the choir is a fine modern reredos, and throughout there are many paintings of acceptable, if not great, worth. The pulpit, by a native of Toulon, is usually admired, but is a modern work which in no way compares with others of its kind seen along the Rhine, and indeed throughout Germany. One of the principal features which decorate the interior is a tabernacle by Puget; while an admirable sculptured "Jehovah and the Angels" by Veyrier, and a "Virgin" by Canova—which truly is not a great work—complete the list of artistic accessories.

The first bishop of Toulon, in the fifth century, was one Honoré.



The ancient episcopal city of Fréjus has perhaps more than a due share of the attractions for the student and lover of the historic past. It is one of the most ancient cities of Provence. Its charm of environment, people, and much else that it offers, on the surface or below, are as irresistible a galaxy as one can find in a small town of scarce three thousand inhabitants. And Fréjus is right on the beaten track, too, though it is not apparent that the usual run of pleasure-loving, tennis-playing, and dancing-party species of tourist—at a small sum per head, all included—ever stop here en route to the town's more fashionable Riviera neighbours—at least they do not en masse—as they wing their way to the more delectable pleasures of naughty Nice or precise and proper Mentone.

The establishment of a bishopric here is somewhat doubtfully given by "La Gallia Christiania" as having been in the fourth century. Coupled with this statement is the assertion that the cathedral at Fréjus is very ancient, and its foundation very obscure; but that it was probably built up from the remains of a "primitive temple consecrated to an idol." Such, at least, is the information gleaned from a French source, which does not in any way suggest room for doubt.

Formerly the religious administration was divided amongst a provost, an archdeacon, a sacristan, and twelve canons. The diocese was suppressed in 1801 and united with that of Aix, but was reëstablished in 1823 by virtue of the Concordat of 1817. To-day the diocese divides the honour of archiepiscopal dignity with that of Toulon.

The foundations of St. Etienne are admittedly those of a pagan temple, but the bulk of the main body of the church is of the eleventh century. The tower and its spire—not wholly beautiful, nor yet in any way unbeautiful—are of the period of the ogivale primaire.

As to style, in so far as St. Etienne differs greatly from the early Gothic of convention, it is generally designated as Provençal-Romanesque. It is, however, strangely akin to what we know elsewhere as primitive Gothic, and as such it is worthy of remark, situated, as it is, here in the land where the pure round-arched style is indigenous.

The portal has a doorway ornamented with some indifferent Renaissance sculptures. To the left of this doorway is a baptistère containing a number of granite columns, which, judging from their crudeness, must be of genuine antiquity.

There is an ancient Gothic cloister, hardly embryotic, but still very rudimentary, because of the lack of piercings of the arches; possibly, though, this is the result of an afterthought, as the arched openings appear likely enough to have been filled up at some time subsequent to the first erection of this feature.

The bishop's palace is of extraordinary magnitude and impressiveness, though of no very great splendour. In its fabric are incorporated a series of Gallo-Roman pilasters, and it has the further added embellishment of a pair of graceful twin tourelles.

The Roman remains throughout the city are numerous and splendid, and, as a former seaport, founded by Cæsar and enlarged by Augustus, the city was at a former time even more splendid than its fragments might indicate. To-day, owing to the building up of the foreshore, and the alluvial deposits washed down by the river Argens, the town is perhaps a mile from the open sea.

Detail of Doorway of the
Archibishop's Palace, Fréjus Detail of Doorway of the
Archibishop's Palace, Fréjus



Grasse is more famed for its picturesque situation and the manufacture of perfumery than it is for its one-time cathedral, which is but a simple and uninteresting twelfth-century church, whose only feature of note is a graceful doorway in the pointed style.

The diocese of Grasse formerly had jurisdiction over Antibes, whose bishop—St. Armentaire—ruled in the fourth century.

The diocese of Grasse—in the province of Embrun—did not come into being, however, until 1245, when Raimond de Villeneuve was made its first bishop. The see was suppressed in 1790.

There are, as before said, no accessories of great artistic worth in the Église de Grasse, and the lover of art and architecture will perforce look elsewhere. In the Hôpital are three paintings attributed to Rubens, an "Exaltation," a "Crucifixion," and a "Crowning of Thorns." They may or may not be genuine works by the master; still, nothing points to their lack of authenticity, except the omission of all mention thereof in most accounts which treat of this artist's work.



Cap d'Antibes, on the Golfe Jouan, is one of those beauty-spots along the Mediterranean over which sentimental rhapsody has ever lent, if not a glamour which is artificial, at least one which is purely æsthetic.

One must not deny it any reputation of this nature which it may possess, and indeed, with St. Raphael and Hyères, it shares with many another place along the French Riviera a popularity as great, perhaps, as if it were the possessor of even an extraordinarily beautiful cathedral.

The churchly dignity of Antibes has departed long since, though its career as a former bishopric—in the province of Aix—was not brief, as time goes. It began in the fourth century with St. Armentaire, and endured intermittently until the twelfth century, when the see was combined with that of Grasse, and the ruling dignity transferred to that place.



"These brown men of Marseilles, who sing as they bend at their oars, are Greeks."

Clovis Hughes.

Marseilles is modern and commercial; but Marseilles is also ancient, and a centre from which have radiated, since the days of the Greeks, much power and influence.

It is, too, for a modern city,—which it is to the average tourist,—wonderfully picturesque, and shows some grand architectural effects, both ancient and modern.



The Palais de Long Champs is an architectural grouping which might have dazzled luxurious Rome itself. The Chamber of Commerce, with its decorations by Puvis de Chavannes, is a structure of the first rank; the Cannebière is one of those few great business thoroughfares which are truly imposing; while the docks, shipping, and hotels, are all of that preëminent magnitude which we are wont to associate only with a great capital.

As to its churches, its old twelfth-century cathedral remains to-day a mere relic of its former dignity.

The Old Cathedral, Marseilles

The Old Cathedral, Marseilles

It is a reminder of a faith and a power that still live in spite of the attempts of the world of progress to live it down, and has found its echo in the present-day cathedral of Ste. Marie Majeure, one of the few remarkably successful attempts at the designing of a great church in modern times. The others are the new Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral London, the projected cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and Trinity Church in Boston.

As an exemplification of church-building after an old-time manner adapted to modern needs, called variously French-Romanesque, Byzantine, and, by nearly every expert who has passed comment upon it, by some special nomenclature of his own, the cathedral at Marseilles is one of those great churches which will live in the future as has St. Marc's at Venice in the past.

Its material is a soft stone of two contrasting varieties,—the green being from the neighbourhood of Florence, and the white known as pierre de Calissant,—laid in alternate courses. Its deep sunken portal, with its twin flanking Byzantine towers, dominates the old part of the city, lying around about the water-front, as do few other churches, and no cathedrals, in all the world.

It stands a far more impressive and inspiring sentinel at the water-gate of the city than does the ludicrously fashioned modern "sailors' church" of Notre Dame de la Gard, which is perched in unstable fashion on a pinnacle of rock on the opposite side of the harbour.

This "curiosity"—for it is hardly more—is reached by a cable-lift or funicular railway, which seems principally to be conducted for the delectation of those winter birds of passage yclept "Riviera tourists."

The true pilgrim, the sailor who leaves a votive offering, or his wife or sweetheart, who goes there to pray for his safety, journeys on foot by an abrupt, stony road,—as one truly devout should.

This sumptuous cathedral will not please every one, but it cannot be denied that it is an admirably planned and wonderfully executed neo-Byzantine work. In size it is really vast, though its chief remarkable dimension is its breadth. Its length is four hundred and sixty feet.

At the crossing is a dome which rises to one hundred and ninety-seven feet, while two smaller ones are at each end of the transept, and yet others, smaller still, above the various chapels.

The general effect of the interior is—as might be expected—grandoise. There is an immensely wide central nave, flanked by two others of only appreciably reduced proportions.

Above the side aisles are galleries extending to the transepts.

The decorations of mosaic, glass, and mural painting have been the work of the foremost artists of modern times, and have been long in execution.

The entire period of construction extended practically over the last half of the nineteenth century.

The plans were by Léon Vaudoyer, who was succeeded by one Espérandieu, and again by Henri Rêvoil. The entire detail work may not even yet be presumed to have been completed, but still the cathedral stands to-day as the one distinct and complete achievement of its class within the memory of living man.

The pillars of the nave, so great is their number and so just and true their disposition, form a really decorative effect in themselves.

The choir is very long and is terminated with a domed apse, with domed chapels radiating therefrom in a symmetrical and beautiful manner.

The episcopal residence is immediately to the right of the cathedral, on the Place de la Major.

Marseilles has been the seat of a bishop since the days of St. Lazare in the first century. It was formerly a suffragan of Arles in the Province d'Arles, as it is to-day, but its jurisdiction is confined to the immediate neighbourhood of the city.



In St. Pierre d'Alet was a former cathedral of a very early date; perhaps as early as the ninth century, though the edifice was entirely rebuilt in the eleventh. To-day, even this structure—which is not to be wondered at—is in ruins.

There was an ancient abbey here in the ninth century, but the bishopric was not founded until 1318, and was suppressed in 1790.

The most notable feature of this ancient church is the wall which surrounds or forms the apside. This quintupled pan is separated by four great pillars, in imitation of the Corinthian order; though for that matter they may as well be referred to as genuine antiques—which they probably are—and be done with it.

The capitals and the cornice which surmounts them are richly ornamented with sculptured foliage, and, so far as it goes, the whole effect is one of liberality and luxury of treatment.

Immediately beside the ruins of this old-time cathedral is the Église St. André of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.



La Ville de Montpellier
"Elle est charmante et douce ...
Avec son vast ciel, toujours vibrant et pur,
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 
Elle est charmante avec ses brunes jeunes filles
... le noir diamant de leurs yeux!"
Henri de Bornier.

Montpellier is seated upon a hill, its foot washed by two small and unimportant rivers.

A seventeenth-century writer has said: "This city is not very ancient, though now it be the biggest, fairest, and richest in Languedoc, after Toulouse."


From a passage in the records left by St. Bernard, the Abbot of Clairvaux, it is learned that there was a school or seminary of physicians here as early as 1155, and the perfect establishment of a university was known to have existed just previous to the year 1200. This institution was held in great esteem, and in importance second only to Paris. To-day the present establishment merits like approbation, and, sheltered in part in the ancient episcopal palace, and partly enclosing the cathedral of St. Pierre, it has become inseparable from consideration in connection therewith.

The records above referred to have this to say concerning the university: "Tho' Physic has the Precendence, yet both Parts of the Law are taught in one of its Colleges, by Four Royal Professors, with the Power of making Licentiates and Doctors." Continuing, he says: "The ceremony of taking the M. D. degree is very imposing; if only the putting on and off, seven times, the old gown of the famous Rabelais."

Montpellier was one of "the towns of security" granted by Henry IV. to the Protestants, but Louis XIII., through the suggestions of his cardinals, Richelieu and Mazarin, forced them by arms to surrender this place of protection. The city was taken after a long siege and vigorous defence in 1622.

Before the foundation of Montpellier, the episcopal seat was at Maguelonne, the ancient Magalonum of the Romans. The town does not exist to-day, and its memory is only perpetuated by the name Villeneuve les Maguelonne, a small hamlet on the bay of that name, a short distance from Montpellier.

The Church had a foothold here in the year 636, but the ferocity of Saracen hordes utterly destroyed all vestiges of the Christian faith in their descent upon the city.

Says the Abbé Bourassé: "In the eleventh century another cathedral was dedicated by Bishop Arnaud, and the day was made the occasion of a fête, in consideration of the restoration of the church, which had been for a long time abandoned."

It seems futile to attempt to describe a church which does not exist, and though the records of the later cathedral at Maguelonne are very complete, it must perforce be passed by in favour of its descendant at Montpellier.

Having obtained the consent of François I., the bishop of Maguelonne solicited from the pontiff at Rome the privilege of transferring the throne. In a bull given in 1536, it was decreed that this should be done forthwith. Accordingly, the bishop and his chapter transferred their dignity to a Benedictine monastery at Montpellier, which had been founded in 1364 by Pope Urban V.

The wars of the Protestants desecrated this great church, which, like many others, suffered greatly from their violence, so much so that it was shorn entirely of its riches, its reliquaries, and much of its decoration.

The dimensions of this church are not great, and its beauties are quite of a comparative quality; but for all that it is a most interesting cathedral.

The very grim but majestic severity of its canopied portal—with its flanking cylindrical pillars, called by the French tourelles élancés—gives the key-note of it all, and a note which many a more perfect church lacks.

This curious porch well bespeaks the time when the Church was both spiritual and militant, and ranks as an innovation—though an incomplete and possibly imperfect one—in the manner of finishing off a west façade. Its queer, suspended canopy and slight turreted towers are unique; though, for a fact, they suggest, in embryo, those lavish Burgundian porches; but it is only a suggestion, because of the incompleteness and bareness. However, this porch is the distinct fragment of the cathedral which will appeal to all who come into contact therewith.

The general effect of the interior is even more plain than that of the outer walls, and is only remarkable because of its fine and true proportions of length, breadth, and height.

The triforium is but a suggestion of an arcade, supported by black marble columns. The clerestory above is diminutive, and the window piercings are infrequent. At the present time the choir is hung with a series of curtains of panne—not tapestries in this case. The effect is more theatrical than ecclesiastical.

The architectural embellishments are to-day practically nil, but instead one sees everywhere large, uninterrupted blank walls without decoration of any sort.

The principal decorations of the southern portal are the only relaxation in this otherwise simple and austere fabric. Here is an elaborately carved tympanum and an ornamented architrave, which suggests that the added mellowness of a century or two yet to come will grant to it some approach to distinction. This portal is by no means an insignificant work, but it lacks that ripeness which is only obtained by the process of time.

Three rectangular towers rise to unequal heights above the roof, and, like the western porch, are bare and primitive, though they would be effective enough could one but get an ensemble view that would bring them into range. They are singularly unbeautiful, however, when compared with their northern brethren.



This tiny Mediterranean city was founded originally by the Phœnicians as a commercial port, and finally grew, in spite of its diminutive proportions, to great importance.

Says an old writer: "Agde is not so very big, but it is Rich and Trading-Merchantmen can now come pretty near Agde and Boats somewhat large enter into the Mouth of the River; where they exchange many Commodities for the Wines of the Country."

Agde formerly, as if to emphasize its early importance, had its own viscounts, whose estates fell to the share of those of Nîmes; but in 1187, Bernard Atton, son of a Viscount of Nîmes, presented to the Bishop of Agde the viscounty of the city. Thus, it is seen, a certain good-fellowship must have existed between the Church and state of a former day.

Formerly travellers told tales of Agde, whereby one might conclude its aspect was as dull and gloomy as "Black Angers" of King John's time; and from the same source we learn of the almost universal use of a dull, slate-like stone in the construction of its buildings. To-day this dulness is not to be remarked. What will strike the observer, first and foremost, as being the chief characteristic, is the castellated ci-devant cathedral church. Here is in evidence the blackish basalt, or lava rock, to a far greater extent than elsewhere in the town. It was a good medium for the architect-builder to work in, and he produced in this not great or magnificent church a truly impressive structure.

The bishopric was founded in the fifth century under St. Venuste, and came to its end at the suppression in 1790. Its former cathedral is cared for by the Ministère des Beaux-Arts as a monument historique. The structure was consecrated as early as the seventh century, when a completed edifice was built up from the remains of a pagan temple, which formerly existed on the site. Mostly, however, the work is of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, notably the massive square tower which, one hundred and twenty feet in height, forms a beacon by sea and a landmark on shore which no wayfarer by ship, road, or rail is likely to miss.

A cloister of exceedingly handsome design and arrangement is attached to the cathedral, where it is said the mâchicoulis is the most ancient known. This feature is also notable in the roof-line of the nave, which, with the extraordinary window piercings and their disposition, heightens still more the suggestion of the manner of castle-building of the time. The functions of the two edifices were never combined, though each—in no small way—frequently partook of many of the characteristics of the other.

Aside from this really beautiful cloister, and a rather gorgeous, though manifestly good, painted altar-piece, there are no other noteworthy accessories; and the interest and charm of this not really great church lie in its aspect of strength and utility as well as its environment, rather than in any real æsthetic beauty.

St. Nazaire de Béziers

St. Nazaire de Béziers



St. Nazaire de Béziers is, in its strongly fortified attributes of frowning ramparts and well-nigh invulnerable situation, a continuation of the suggestion that the mediæval church was frequently a stronghold in more senses than one.

The church fabric itself has not the grimness of power of the more magnificent St. Cécile at Albi or Notre Dame at Rodez, but their functions have been much the same; and here, as at Albi, the ancient episcopal palace is duly barricaded after a manner that bespeaks, at least, forethought and strategy.

These fortress-churches of the South seem to have been a product of environment as much as anything; though on the other hand it may have been an all-seeing effort to provide for such contingency or emergency as might, in those mediæval times, have sprung up anywhere.

At all events, these proclaimed shelters, from whatever persecution or disasters might befall, were not only for the benefit of the clergy, but for all their constituency; and such stronghold as they offered was for the shelter, temporary or protracted, of all the population, or such of them as could be accommodated. Surely this was a doubly devout and utilitarian object.

In this section at any rate—the extreme south of France, and more particularly to the westward of the Bouches-du-Rhône—the regional "wars of religion" made some such protection necessary; and hence the development of this type of church-building, not only with respect to the larger cathedral churches, but of a great number of the parish churches which were erected during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The other side of the picture is shown by the acts of intolerance on the part of the Church, for those who merely differed from them in their religious tenets and principles. Fanatics these outsiders may have been, and perhaps not wholly tractable or harmless, but they were, doubtless, as deserving of protection as were the faithful themselves. This was not for them, however, and as for the violence and hatred with which they were held here, one has only to recall that at Béziers took place the crowning massacres of the Albigenses—"the most learned, intellectual, and philosophic revolters from the Church of Rome."

Beneath the shadow of these grim walls and towers over twenty thousand men and women and children were slaughtered by the fanatics of orthodox France and Rome; led on and incited by the Bishop of Béziers, who has been called—and justly as it would seem—"the blackest-souled bigot who ever deformed the face of God's earth."

The cathedral at Béziers is not a great or imposing structure when taken by itself. It is only in conjunction with its fortified walls and ramparts and commanding situation that it rises to supreme rank.

It is commonly classed as a work of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, and with the characteristics of its era and local environment, it presents no very grand or ornate features.

Its first general plan was due to a layman-architect, Gervais, which perhaps accounts for a certain lack of what might otherwise be referred to as ecclesiastical splendour.

The remains of this early work are presumably slight; perhaps nothing more than the foundation walls, as a fire in 1209 did a considerable damage.

The transepts were added in the thirteenth century, and the two dwarfed towers in the fourteenth, at which period was built the clocher (151 feet), the apside, and the nave proper.

There is not a great brilliancy or refulgent glow from the fabric from which St. Nazaire de Béziers is built; as is so frequent in secular works in this region. The stone was dark, apparently, to start with, and has aged considerably since it was put into place. This, in a great measure, accounts for the lack of liveliness in the design and arrangement of this cathedral, and the only note which breaks the monotony of the exterior are the two statues, symbolical of the ancient and the modern laws of the universe, which flank the western portal—or what stands for such, did it but possess the dignity of magnitude.

So far as the exterior goes, it is one's first acquaintance with St. Nazaire, when seen across the river Orb, which gives the most lively and satisfying impression.

The interior attributes of worth and interest are more numerous and pleasing.

The nave is aisleless, but has numerous lateral chapels. The choir has a remarkable series of windows which preserve, even to-day, their ancient protecting grilles—a series of wonderfully worked iron scrolls. These serve to preserve much fourteenth-century glass of curious, though hardly beautiful, design. To a great extent this ancient glass is hidden from view by a massive eighteenth-century retable, which is without any worth whatever as an artistic accessory.

A cloister of the fourteenth century flanks the nave on the south, and is the chief feature of really appealing quality within the confines of the cathedral precincts.

The view from the terrace before the cathedral is one which is hardly approachable elsewhere. For many miles in all directions stretches the low, flat plain of Languedoc; the Mediterranean lies to the east; the Cevennes and the valley of the Orb to the north; with the lance-like Canal du Midi stretching away to the westward.

As might be expected, the streets of the city are tortuous and narrow, but there are evidences of the march of improvement which may in time be expected to eradicate all this—to the detriment of the picturesque aspect.



Perpignan is another of those provincial cities of France which in manners and customs sedulously imitate those of their larger and more powerful neighbours.

From the fact that it is the chief town of the Départment des Pyrénêes-Orientales, it perhaps justifies the procedure. But it is as the ancient capital of Rousillon—only united with France in 1659—that the imaginative person will like to think of it—in spite of its modern cafés, tram-cars, and magazins.

Like the smaller and less progressive town of Elne, Perpignan retains much the same Catalonian flavour of "physiognomy, language, and dress;" and its narrow, tortuous streets and the jalousies and patios of its houses carry the suggestion still further.

The Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659 changed the course of the city's destinies, and to-day it is the fortress-city of France which commands the easterly route into Spain.

The city's Christian influences began when the see was removed hither from Elne, where it had been founded as early as the sixth century.

The cathedral of St. Jean is a wonderful structure. In the lines of its apside it suggests those of Albi, while the magnitude of its great strongly roofed nave is only comparable with that of Bordeaux as to its general dimensions. The great distinction of this feature comes from the fact that its Romanesque walls are surmounted by a truly ogival vault. This great church was originally founded by the king of Majorca, who held Rousillon in ransom from the king of Aragon in 1324.

The west front is entirely unworthy of the other proportions of the structure, and decidedly the most brilliant and lively view is that of the apside and its chapels. There is an odd fourteenth-century tower, above which is suspended a clock in a cage of iron.

The whole design or outline of the exterior of this not very ancient cathedral is in the main Spanish; it is at least not French.

This Spanish sentiment is further sustained by many of the interior accessories and details, of which the chief and most elaborate are an altar-screen of wood and stone of great magnificence, a marble retable of the seventeenth century, a baptismal font of the twelfth or thirteenth century, some indifferent paintings, the usual organ buffet with fifteenth-century carving, and a tomb of a former bishop (1695) in the transept.

The altars, other than the above, are garish and unappealing.

A further notable effect to be seen in the massive nave is the very excellent "pointed" vaulting.

There are, close beside the present church, the remains of an older St. Jean—now nought but a ruin.

The Bourse (locally called La Loge, from the Spanish Lonja) has a charming cloistered courtyard of a mixed Moorish-Gothic style. It is well worthy of interest, as is also the citadel and castle of the King of Majorca. The latter has a unique portal to its chapel.

It is recorded that Bishop Berengarius II. of Perpignan in the year 1019 visited the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, and on his return built a church or chapel on similar lines in memory of his pilgrimage. No remains of it are visible to-day, nor can it be further traced. Mention of it is made here from the fact that it seems to have been a worthy undertaking,—this memorial of a prelate's devotion to his faith.



Elne is the first in importance of the dead cities which border the Gulf of Lyons.

It is the ancient Illiberis, frequently mentioned by Pliny, Livy, and, latterly, Gibbon.

To-day it is ignored by all save the commis voyageur and a comparatively small number of the genuine French touristes.

Formerly the ancient province of Rousillon, in which Elne is situated, and which bordered upon the Spanish frontier, was distinctly Spanish as to manners and customs. It is, moreover, the reputed spot where Hannibal first encamped after crossing the Pyrenees on his march to Rome.

Like Bayonne, at the other extremity of the Pyrenean mountain chain, it commanded the gateway to Spain, and even to-day is the real entrance of the railway route to Barcelona, as is Bayonne to Madrid.

Between these two cities, for a distance approaching one hundred and eighty miles, there is scarce a highway over the mountain barrier along which a wheeled vehicle may travel with comfort, and the tiny Republic of Andorra, though recently threatened with the advent of the railway, is still isolated and unspoiled from the tourist influence, as well as from undue intercourse with either France or Spain, which envelop its few square miles of area as does the Atlantic Ocean the Azores.

To-day Elne is no longer the seat of a bishop, the see of Rousillon having been transferred to Perpignan in the fourteenth century, after having endured from the time of the first bishop, Domnus, since the sixth century.

There has been left as a reminder a very interesting and beautiful smaller cathedral church of the early eleventh century.

Alterations and restorations, mostly of the fifteenth century, have changed its material aspect but little, and it still remains a highly captivating monumental glory; which opinion is further sustained from the fact that the Commission des Monuments Historiques has had the fabric under its own special care for many years.

It is decidedly a minor edifice, and its parts are as unimpressive as its lack of magnitude; still, for all that, the church-lovers will find much crude beauty in this Romanesque basilica-planned church, with its dependant cloister of a very beautiful flowing Gothic of the fifteenth century.

The chief artistic treasures of this ancient cathedral, aside from its elegant cloister, are a bénitier in white marble; a portal of some pretensions, leading from the cathedral to its cloister; a fourteen-century tomb, of some considerable artistic worth; and a bas-relief, called the "Tomb of Constans."

There is little else of note, either in or about the cathedral, and the town itself has the general air of a glory long past.




The ancient province of Narbonenses—afterward comprising Languedoc—had for its capital what is still the city of Narbonne. One may judge of the former magnificence of Narbonne by the following lines of Sidonius Apollinaris:

"Salve Narbo potens Salubritate,
Qui Urbè et Rure simul bonus Videris,
Muris, Civibus, ambitu, Tabernis,
Portis, Porticibus, Foro, Theatro,
Delubris, Capitoliis, Monetis,
Thermis, Arcubus, Harreis, Macellis,
Pratis, Fontibus, Insulus, Salinis,
Stagnis, Flumine, Merce, Ponte, Ponto,
Unus qui jure venere divos
Lenœum, Cererum, Palem, Minervam,
Spicis, Palmite, Poscius, Tapetis."

Narbonne is still mighty and healthful, if one is to judge from the activities of the present day; is picturesque and pleasing, and far more comfortably disposed than many cities with a more magnificently imposing situation.

The city remained faithful to the Romans until the utmost decay of the western empire, at which time (462) it was delivered to the Goths.

It was first the head of a kingdom, and later, when it came to the Romans, it was made the capital of a province which comprised the fourth part of Gaul.

This in turn was subdivided into the provinces of Narbonenses, Viennensis, the Greek Alps, and the Maritime Alps, that is, all of the later Savoie, Dauphiné, Provence, Lower Languedoc, Rousillon, Toulousan, and the Comté de Foix.

Under the second race of kings, the Dukes of Septimannia took the title of Ducs de Narbonne, but the lords of the city contented themselves with the name of viscount, which they bore from 1134 to 1507, when Gaston de Foix—the last Viscount of Narbonne—exchanged it for other lands, with his uncle, the French king, Louis XII. The most credulous affirm that the Proconsul Sergius Paulus—converted by St. Paul—was the first preacher of Christianity at Narbonne.

The Church is here, therefore, of great antiquity, and there are plausible proofs which demonstrate the claim.

The episcopal palace at Narbonne, closely built up with the Hôtel de Ville (rebuilt by Viollet-le-Duc), is a realization of the progress of the art of domestic fortified architecture of the time.

Like its contemporary at Laon in the north, and more particularly after the manner of the papal palace at Avignon and the archbishop's palace at Albi, this structure combined the functions of a domestic and official establishment with those of a stronghold or a fortified place of no mean pretence.

Dating from 1272, the cathedral of St. Just de Narbonne suggests comparison with, or at least the influence of, Amiens.

It is strong, hardy, and rich, with a directness of purpose with respect to its various attributes that in a less lofty structure is wanting.

The height of the choir-vault is perhaps a hundred and twenty odd feet, as against one hundred and forty-seven at Amiens, and accordingly it does not suffer in comparison.

It may be remarked that these northern attributes of lofty vaulting and the high development of the arc-boutant were not general throughout the south, or indeed in any other region than the north of France. Only at Bazas, Bordeaux, Bayonne, Auch, Toulouse, and Narbonne do we find these features in any acceptable degree of perfection.

The architects of the Midi had, by resistance and defiance, conserved antique traditions with much greater vigour than they had endorsed the new style, with the result that many of their structures, of a period contemporary with the early development of the Gothic elsewhere, here favoured it little if at all.

Only from the thirteenth century onward did they make general use of ogival vaulting, maintaining with great conservatism the basilica plan of Roman tradition.

In many other respects than constructive excellence does St. Just show a pleasing aspect. It has, between the main body of the church and the present Hôtel de Ville and the remains of the ancient archevêché, a fragmentary cloister which is grand to the point of being scenic. It dates from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and is decidedly the most appealing feature of the entire cathedral precincts.


The cathedral itself still remains unachieved as to completeness, but its tourelles, its vaulting, its buttresses, and its crenelated walls are most impressive.

There are some elaborate tombs in the interior, in general of the time of Henri IV.

The trésor is rich in missals, manuscripts, ivories, and various altar ornaments and decorations.

The choir is enclosed with a series of arena-like loges, outside which runs a double aisle.

There are fragmentary evidences of the one-time possession of good glass, but what paintings are shown appear ordinary and are doubtless of little worth.

Decidedly the cathedral is an unusually splendid, if not a truly magnificent, work.


The Valley of the Garonne



The basin of the Garonne includes all of the lower Aquitanian province, Lower Languedoc,—still a debatable and undefinable land,—and much of that region known of lovers of France, none the less than the native himself, as the Midi.

Literally the term Midi refers to the south of France, but more particularly that part which lies between the mouth of the Rhône and the western termination of the Pyrenean mountain boundary between France and Spain.

The term is stamped indelibly in the popular mind by the events which emanated from that wonderful march of the legion, known as "Les Rouges du Midi," in Revolutionary times. We have heard much of the excesses of the Revolution, but certainly the vivid history of "Les Rouges" as recounted so well in that admirable book of Félix Gras (none the less truthful because it is a novel), which bears the same name, gives every justification to those valiant souls who made up that remarkable phalanx; of whose acts most historians and humanitarians are generally pleased to revile as cruelty and sacrilege unspeakable.

Félix Gras himself has told of the ignoble subjection in which his own great-grandfather, a poor peasant, was held; and Frederic Mistral tells of a like incident—of lashing and beating—which was thrust upon a relative of his. If more reason were wanted, a perusal of the written records of the Marseilles Battalion will point the way. Written history presents many stubborn facts, difficult to digest and hard to swallow; but the historical novel in the hands of a master will prove much that is otherwise unacceptable. A previous acquaintance with this fascinating and lurid story is absolutely necessary for a proper realization of the spirit which endowed the inhabitants of this section of the pays du Midi.

To-day the same spirit lives to a notable degree. The atmosphere and the native character alike are both full of sunshine and shadow; grown men and women are yet children, and gaiety, humour, and passion abound where, in the more austere North, would be seen nought but indifference and indolence.

It is the fashion to call the South languid, but nowhere more than at Bordeaux—where the Garonne joins La Gironde—will you find so great and ceaseless an activity.

The people are not, to be sure, of the peasant class, still they are not such town-dwellers as in many other parts, and seem to combine, as do most of the people of southern France, a languor and keenness which are intoxicating if not stimulating.

Between Bordeaux and Toulouse are not many great towns, but, in the words of Taine, one well realizes that "it is a fine country." The Garonne valley, with a fine alluvial soil, grows, productively and profitably, corn, tobacco, and hemp; and by the utmost industry and intelligence the workers are able to prosper exceedingly.

The traveller from the Mediterranean across to the Atlantic—or the reverse—by rail, will get glimpses now and then of this wonderfully productive river-bottom, as it flows yellow-brown through its osier-bedded banks; and again, an intermittent view of the Canal du Midi, upon whose non-raging bosom is carried a vast water-borne traffic by barge and canal-boat, which even the development of the railway has not been able to appreciably curtail.

Here, too, the peasant proprietor is largely in evidence, which is an undoubted factor in the general prosperity. His blockings, hedgings, and fencings have spoiled the expanse of hillside and vale in much the same manner as in Albion. This may be a pleasing feature to the uninitiated, but it is not a picturesque one. However, the proprietorship of small plots of land, worked by their non-luxury demanding owners, is accountable for a great deal of the peace and plenty with which all provincial France, if we except certain mountainous regions, seems to abound. It may not provide a superabundance of this world's wealth and luxury, but the French farmer—in a small way—has few likes of that nature, and the existing conditions make for a contentment which the dull, brutal, and lethargic farm labourer of some parts of England might well be forced to emulate, if even by ball and chain.

Flat-roofed houses, reminiscent of Spain or Italy—born of a mild climate—add a pleasing variety of architectural feature, while the curiously hung bells—with their flattened belfries, like the headstones in a cemetery—suggest something quite different from the motives which inspired the northern builders, who enclosed their chimes in a roofed-over, open-sided cubicle. The bells here hang merely in apertures open to the air on each side, and ring out sharp and true to the last dying note. It is a most picturesque and unusual arrangement, hardly to be seen elsewhere as a characteristic feature outside Spain itself, and in some of the old Missions, which the Spanish Fathers built in the early days of California.

Between Bayonne and Bordeaux, and bordered by the sea, the Garonne, and the Adour, is a nondescript land which may be likened to the deserts of Africa or Asia, except that its barrenness is of the sea salty. It is by no means unpeopled, though uncultivated and possessed of little architectural splendour of either a past or the present day.

Including the half of the department of the Gironde, a corner of Lot et Garonne, and all of that which bears its name, the Landes forms of itself a great seaboard plain or morass. It is said by a geographical authority that the surface so very nearly approaches the rectilinear that for a distance of twenty-eight miles between the dismal villages of Lamothe and Labonheyre the railway is "a visible meridian."

The early eighteenth-century writers—in English—used to revile all France, so far as its topographical charms were concerned, with panegyrics upon its unloveliness and lack of variety, and of being anything more than a flat, arid land, which was not sufficient even unto itself.

What induced this extraordinary reasoning it is hard to realize at the present day.

Its beauties are by no means as thinly sown as is thought by those who know them slightly—from a window of a railway carriage, or a sojourn of a month in Brittany, a week in Provence, or a fortnight in Touraine.

The ennui of a journey through France is the result of individual incapacity for observation, not of the country. Above all, it is certainly not true of Guienne or Gascony, nor of Provence, nor of Dauphiné, nor Auvergne, nor Savoie.

As great rivers go, the Garonne is not of very great size, nor so very magnificent in its reaches, nor so very picturesque,—with that minutiæ associated with English rivers of a like rank,—but it is suggestive of far more than most streams of its size and length, wherever found.

Its source is well within the Spanish frontier, in the picturesque Val d'Aran, where the boundary between the two countries makes a curious détour, and leaves the crest of the Pyrenees, which it follows throughout—with this exception—from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic.

The Garonne becomes navigable at Cazères, some distance above Toulouse, and continues its course, enhanced by the confluence of the Tarn, the Lot, the Arriège, and the Dordogne, beyond the junction of which, two hundred and seventy odd miles from the head of navigation, the estuary takes on the nomenclature of La Gironde.

Of the ancient provinces of these parts, the most famous is Guienne, that "fair duchy" once attached—by a subtle process of reasoning—to the English crown.

It is distinguished, as to its economic aspect, by its vast vineyards, which have given the wines, so commonly esteemed, the name of claret. These and the other products of the country have found their way into all markets of the world through the Atlantic coast metropolis of Bordeaux.

The Gascogne of old was a large province to the southward of Guienne. A romantic land, say the chroniclers and mere litterateurs alike. "Peopled by a race fiery, ardent, and impetuous ... with a peculiar tendency to boasting, hence the term gasconade." The peculiar and characteristic feature of Gascogne, as distinct from that which holds in the main throughout these parts, is that strange and wild section called the Landes, which is spoken of elsewhere.

The ancient province of Languedoc, which in its lower portion is included in this section, is generally reputed to be the pride of France with regard to climate, soil, and scenery. Again, this has been ruled otherwise, but a more or less intimate acquaintance with the region does not fail to endorse the first claim. This wide, strange land has not vastly changed its aspect since the inhabitants first learned to fly instead of fight.

This statement is derived to a great extent from legend, but, in addition, is supported by much literary and historical opinion, which has recorded its past. It is not contemptuous criticism any more than Froissart's own words; therefore let it stand.

When the French had expelled the Goths beyond the Pyrenees, Charlemagne established his governors in Languedoc with the title of Counts of Toulouse. The first was Corson, in 778; the second St. W. du Courtnez or Aux-Cornets, from whence the princes of Orange derive their pedigree, as may be inferred from the hunting-horns in their arms.

Up to the eighteenth century these states retained a certain independence and exercise of home rule, and had an Assembly made up of "the three orders of the kingdom," the clergy, the nobility, and the people. The Archbishop of Narbonne was president of the body, though he was seldom called upon but to give the king money. This he acquired by the laying on of an extraordinary imposition under the name of "Don-Gratuit."

The wide, rolling country of Lower Languedoc has no very grand topographical features, but it is watered by frequent and ample streams, and peopled with row upon row of sturdy trees, with occasional groves of mulberries, olives, and other citrus fruits. Over all glows the luxuriant southern sun with a tropical brilliance, but without its fierce burning rays.

Mention of the olive suggests the regard which most of us have for this tree of romantic and sentimental association. As a religious emblem, it is one of the most favoured relics which has descended to us from Biblical times.

A writer on southern France has questioned the beauty of the growing tree. It does, truly, look somewhat mop-headed, and it does spread somewhat like a mushroom, but, with all that, it is a picturesque and prolific adjunct to a southern landscape, and has been in times past a source of inspiration to poets and painters, and of immeasurable profit to the thrifty grower.

The worst feature which can possibly be called up with respect to Lower Languedoc is the "skyey influences" of the Mistral, dry and piercingly cold wind which blows southward through all the Rhône valley with a surprising strength.

Madame de Sévigné paints it thus in words:

"Le tourbillon, l'ouragan, tous les diables dechainés qui veulent bien emporter votre château."

Foremost among the cities of the region are Toulouse, Carcassonne, Montpellier, Narbonne, and Béziers, of which Carcassonne is preëminent as to its picturesque interest, and perhaps, as well, as to its storied past.

The Pyrenees have of late attracted more and more attention from the tourist, who has become sated with the conventionality of the "trippers' tour" to Switzerland. The many attractive resorts which the Pyrenean region has will doubtless go the way of others elsewhere—if they are given time, but for the present this entire mountain region is possessed of much that will appeal to the less conventional traveller.

Of all the mountain ranges of Europe, the Pyrenees stand unique as to their regularity of configuration and strategic importance. They bind and bound Spain and France with a bony ligature which is indented like the edge of a saw.

From the Atlantic at Bayonne to the Mediterranean at Port Bou, the mountain chain divides its valleys and ridges with the regularity of a wall-trained shrub or pear-tree, and sinks on both sides to the level plains of France and Spain. In the midst of this rises the river Garonne. Its true source is in the Piedrafitta group of peaks, whence its waters flow on through Toulouse, various tributaries combining to give finally to Bordeaux its commanding situation and importance. Around its source, which is the true centre of the Pyrenees, is the parting line between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. On one side the waters flow down through the fields of France to the Biscayan Bay, and on the other southward and westward through the Iberian peninsula.

Few of the summits exceed the height of the ridge by more than two thousand feet; whereas in the Alps many rise from six to eight thousand feet above the massif, while scenic Mont Blanc elevates its head over fifteen thousand feet.

As a barrier, the Pyrenees chain is unique. For over one hundred and eighty miles, from the Col de la Perche to Maya—practically a suburb of Bayonne—not a carriage road nor a railway crosses the range.

The etymology of the name of this mountain chain is in dispute. Many suppose it to be from the Greek pur (fire), alluding to the volcanic origin of the peaks. This is endorsed by many, while others consider that it comes from the Celtic word byren, meaning a mountain. Both derivations are certainly apropos, but the weight of favour must always lie with the former rather than the latter.

The ancient province of Béarn is essentially mediæval to-day. Its local tongue is a pure Romance language; something quite distinct from mere patois. It is principally thought to be a compound of Latin and Teutonic with an admixture of Arabic.

This seems involved, but, as it is unlike modern French, or Castilian, and modern everything else, it would seem difficult for any but an expert student of tongues to place it definitely. To most of us it appears to be but a jarring jumble of words, which may have been left behind by the followers of the various conquerors which at one time or another swept over the land.



"One finds here reminders of the Visigoths, the Franks, the Saracens, and the English; and the temples, theatres, arenas, and monuments by which each made his mark of possession yet remain."

Aurelian Scholl.

Taine in his Carnets de Voyage says of Bordeaux: "It is a sort of second Paris, gay and magnificent ... amusement is the main business."

Bordeaux does not change. It has ever been advanced, and always a centre of gaiety. Its fêtes and functions quite rival those of the capital itself,—at times,—and its opera-house is the most famed and magnificent in France, outside of Paris.

It is a city of enthusiastic demonstrations. It was so in 1814 for the Bourbons, and again a year later for the emperor on his return from Elba.

In 1857 it again surpassed itself in its enthusiasm for Louis Napoleon, when he was received in the cathedral, under a lofty dais, and led to the altar with the cry of "Vive l'empereur;" while during the bloody Franco-Prussian war it was the seat of the provisional government of Thiers.

Here the Gothic wave of the North has produced in the cathedral of St. André a remarkably impressive and unexpected example of the style.

In the general effect of size alone it will rank with many more important and more beautiful churches elsewhere. Its total length of over four hundred and fifty feet ranks it among the longest in France, and its vast nave, with a span of sixty feet, aisleless though it be, gives a still further expression of grandeur and magnificence.

It is known that three former cathedrals were successfully destroyed by invading Goths, Saracens, and warlike Normans.

Yet another structure was built in the eleventh century, which, with the advent of the English in Guienne, in the century following, was enlarged and magnified into somewhat of an approach to the present magnificent dimensions, though no English influence prevailed toward erecting a central tower, as might have been anticipated. Instead we have two exceedingly graceful and lofty spired towers flanking the north transept, and yet another single tower, lacking its spire, on the south.

The portal of the north transept—of the fourteenth century—is an elaborate work of itself. It is divided into two bays that join beneath a dais, on which is a statue of Bertrand de Goth, who was Pope in 1305, under the name of Clement V. He is here clothed in sacerdotal habits, and stands upright in the attitude of benediction.

At the lower right-hand side are statues of six bishops, but, like that of Pope Clement, they do not form a part of the constructive elements of the portal, as did most work of a like nature in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, but are made use of singly as a decorative motive.

The spring of the arch which surrounds the tympanum is composed of a cordon of foliaged stone separating the six angels of the première archivolte from the twelve apostles of the second, and the fourteen patriarchs and prophets of the third.

In the tympanum are three bas-reliefs superimposed one upon the other, the upper being naturally the smaller. They represent the Christ triumphant, seated on a dais between two angels, one bearing a staff and the other a veil, while above hover two other angelic figures holding respectively the moon and sun.

The arrangement is not so elaborate or gracefully executed as many, but in its simple and expressive symbolism, in spite of the fact that the whole added ornament appears an afterthought, is far more convincing than many more pretentious works of a similar nature.

Another exterior feature of note is seen at the third pillar at the right of the choir. It is a curious double (back-to-back) statue of Ste. Anne and the Virgin. It is of stone and of the late sixteenth century, when sculpture—if it had not actually debased itself by superfluity of detail—was of an excellence of symmetry which was often lacking entirely from work of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

The choir-chevet is a magnificent pyramidal mass of piers, pinnacles, and buttresses of much elegance.

The towers which flank the north transept are adorned with an excellent disposition of ornament.

The greater part of this cathedral was constructed during the period of English domination; the choir would doubtless never have been achieved in its present form had it not been for the liberality of Edward I. and Pope Clement V., who had been the archbishop of the diocese.

The cathedral of St. André dates practically from 1252, and is, in inception and execution, a very complete Gothic church.

Over its aisleless nave is carried one of the boldest and most magnificent vaults known. The nave is more remarkable, however, for this gigantic attribute than for any other excellencies which it possesses.

In the choir, which rises much higher than the nave, there comes into being a double aisle on either side, as if to make up for the deficiencies of the nave in this respect.

The choir arrangement and accessories are remarkably elaborate, though many of them are not of great artistic worth. Under the organ are two sculptured Renaissance bas-reliefs, taken from the ancient jube, and representing a "Descent from the Cross" and "Christ Bearing the Cross." There are two religious paintings of some value, one by Jordaens, and the other by Alex. Veronese. Before the left transept is a monument to Cardinal de Cheverus, with his statue. Surrounding the stonework of a monument to d'Ant de Noailles (1662) is a fine work of wood-carving.

The high-altar is of the period contemporary with the main body of the cathedral, and was brought thither from the Église de la Réole.

The Province of Bordeaux, as the early ecclesiastical division was known, had its archiepiscopal seat at Bordeaux in the fourth century, though it had previously (in the third century) been made a bishopric.



Lectoure, though defunct as a bishopric to-day, had endured from the advent of Heuterius, in the sixth century, until 1790.

In spite of the lack of ecclesiastical remains of a very great rank, there is in its one-time cathedral a work which can hardly be contemplated except with affectionate admiration.

The affairs of a past day, either with respect to Church or State, appear not to have been very vivid or highly coloured; in fact, the reverse appears to be the case. In pre-mediæval times—when the city was known as the Roman village of Lactora—it was strongly fortified, like most hilltop towns of Gaul.

The cathedral dates for the most part from the thirteenth century, and in the massive tower which enwraps its façade shows strong indications of the workmanship of an alien hand, which was neither French nor Italian. This tower is thought to resemble the Norman work of England and the north of France, and in some measure it does, though it may be questioned as to whether this is the correct classification. This tower, whatever may have been its origin, is, however, one of those features which is to be admired for itself alone; and it amply endorses and sustains the claim of this church to a consideration more lasting than a mere passing fancy.

The entire plan is unusually light and graceful, and though, by no stretch of opinion could it be thought of as Gothic, it has not a little of the suggestion of the style, which at a former time must have been even more pronounced in that its western tower once possessed a spire which rose to a sky-piercing height.

The lower tower still remains, but the spire, having suffered from lightning and the winds at various times, was, a century or more ago, removed.

The nave has a series of lateral chapels, each surmounted by a sort of gallery or tribune, which would be notable in any church edifice, and there is fine traceried vaulting in the apsidal chapels, which also contain some effective, though modern coloured glass.

The former episcopal residence is now the local Mairie.

On a clear day, it is said, the towers of the cathedral at Auch may be seen to the northward, while in the opposite direction the serrated ridge of the Pyrenees is likewise visible.




"Distant are the violet Pyrenees, wonderful and regal in their grandeur. The sun is bright, and laughs joyously at the Béarnais peasant."

Jean Rameau.

Bayonne is an ancient town, and was known by the Romans as Lapurdum. As a centre of Christianity, it was behind its neighbours, as no bishopric was founded here until Arsias Rocha held the see in the ninth century. No church-building of remark followed for at least two centuries, when the foundations were laid upon which the present cathedral was built up.

Like the cities and towns of Rousillon, at the opposite end of the Pyrenean chain, Bayonne has for ever been of mixed race and characteristics. Basques, Spaniards, Béarnese, and "alien French"—as the native calls them—went to make up its conglomerate population in the past, and does even yet in considerable proportions.

To the reader of history, the mediæval Béarn and Navarre, which to-day forms the Department of the Basses-Pyrénées in the southwest corner of France, will have the most lively interest, from the fact of its having been the principality of Henri Quatre, the "good king" whose name was so justly dear. The history of the Béarnese is a wonderful record of a people of which too little is even yet known.

Bayonne itself has had many and varied historical associations, though it is not steeped in that antiquity which is the birthright of many another favoured spot.

Guide-books and the "notes-and-queries columns" of antiquarian journals have unduly enlarged upon the fact that the bayonet—to-day a well-nigh useless appendage as a weapon of war—was first invented here. It is interesting as a fact, perhaps, but it is not of æsthetic moment.

The most gorgeous event of history connected with Bayonne and its immediate vicinity—among all that catalogue, from the minor Spanish invasions to Wellington's stupendous activities—was undoubtedly that which led up to the famous Pyrenean Treaty made on the Isle du Faisan, close beside the bridge, in the river Bidassoa, on the Spanish frontier.

The memory of the parts played therein by Mazarin and De Haro, and not less the gorgeous pavilion in which the function was held, form a setting which the writers of "poetical plays" and "historical romances" seem to have neglected.

This magnificent apartment was decorated by Velasquez, who, it is said, died of his inglorious transformation into an upholsterer.

The cathedral at Bayonne is contemporary with those at Troyes, Meaux, and Auxerre, in the north of France. It resembles greatly the latter as to general proportions and situation, though it possesses two completed spires, whereas St. Etienne, at Auxerre, has but one.

In size and beauty the cathedral at Bayonne is far above the lower rank of the cathedrals of France, and in spite of extensive restorations, it yet stands forth as a mediæval work of great importance.

From a foundation of the date of 1140, a structure was in part completed by 1213, at which time the whole existing fabric suffered the ravages of fire. Work was immediately undertaken again, commencing with the choir; and, except for the grand portal of the west front, the whole church was finished by the mid-sixteenth century.

Restoration of a late date, induced by the generosity of a native of the city, has resulted in the completion of the cathedral, which, if not a really grand church to-day, is an exceedingly near approach thereto.

The fine western towers are modern, but they form the one note which produces the effect of ensemble, which otherwise would be entirely wanting.

The view from the Quai Bergemet, just across the Adour, for picturesqueness of the quality which artists—tyros and masters alike—love to sketch, is reminiscent only of St. Lo in Normandy.

Aside from the charm of its general picturesqueness of situation and grouping, Notre Dame de Bayonne will appeal mostly by its interior arrangements and embellishments.

The western portal is still lacking the greatness which future ages may yet bestow upon it, and that of the north transept, by which one enters, is, though somewhat more ornate, not otherwise remarkable.

A florid cloister of considerable size attaches itself on the south, but access is had only from the sacristy.

The choir and apse are of the thirteenth century, and immediately followed the fire of 1213.

Neither the transepts nor choir are of great length; indeed, they are attenuated as compared with those of the more magnificent churches of the Gothic type, of which this is, in a way, an otherwise satisfying example.

The patriotic Englishman will take pride in the fact that the English arms are graven somewhere in the vaulting of the nave. He may not be able to spy them out,—probably will not be,—but they likely enough existed, as a mid-Victorian writer describes them minutely, though no modern guides or works of local repute make mention of the feature in any way. The triforium is elegantly traceried, and is the most worthy and artistic detail to be seen in the whole structure.

The clerestory windows contain glass of the fifteenth century; much broken to-day, but of the same excellent quality of its century, and that immediately preceding. The remainder of the glass, in the clerestory and choir, is modern.

In the sacristy is a remarkable series of perfectly preserved thirteenth-century sculptures in stone which truthfully—with the before-mentioned triforum—are the real "art treasures" of the cathedral. The three naves; the nave proper and its flanking aisles; the transepts, attenuated though they be; and the equally shallow choir, all in some way present a really grand effect, at once harmonious and pleasing.

The pavement of the sanctuary is modern, as also the high-altar, but both are generously good in design. These furnishings are mainly of Italian marbles, hung about with tapestries, which, if not of superlative excellence, are at least effective.

Modern mural paintings with backgrounds in gold decorate the abside chapels.

There are many attributes of picturesque quality scattered throughout the city: its unique trade customs, its shipping, its donkeys, and, above any of these, its women themselves picturesque and beautiful. All these will give the artist many lively suggestions.

Not many of the class, however, frequent this Biscayan city; which is a loss to art and to themselves. A plea is herein made that its attractions be better known by those who have become ennuied by the "resorts."



At the time the grand cathedrals of the north of France were taking on their completed form, a reflex was making itself felt here in the South. Both at Bayonne and Bazas were growing into being two beautiful churches which partook of many of the attributes of Gothic art in its most approved form.

St. Jean de Bazas is supposedly of a tenth-century foundation, but its real beginnings, so far as its later approved form is concerned, came only in 1233. From which time onward it came quickly to its completion, or at least to its dedication.

It was three centuries before its west front was completed, and when so done—in the sixteenth century—it stood out, as it does to-day, a splendid example of a façade, completely covered with statues of such proportions and excellence that it is justly accounted the richest in the south of France.

It quite equals, in general effect, such well-peopled fronts as Amiens or Reims; though here the numbers are not so great, and, manifestly, not of as great an excellence.

This small but well-proportioned church has no transepts, but the columnar supports of its vaulting presume an effect of length which only Gothic in its purest forms suggests.

The Huguenot rising somewhat depleted and greatly damaged the sculptured decorations of its façade, and likewise much of the interior ornament, but later repairs have done much to preserve the effect of the original scheme, and the church remains to-day an exceedingly gratifying and pleasing example of transplanted Gothic forms.

The diocese dates from the foundation of Sextilius, in the sixth century.



The bishopric here was founded in the fifth century by St. Julian, and lasted till the suppression of 1790; but of all of its importance of past ages, which was great, little is left to-day of ecclesiastical dignity.

Lescar itself is an attractive enough small town of France,—it contains but a scant two thousand inhabitants,—but has no great distinction to important rank in any of the walks of life; indeed, its very aspect is of a glory that has departed.

It has, however, like so many of the small towns of the ancient Béarn, a notably fine situation: on a high coteau which rises loftily above the route nationale which runs from Toulouse to Bayonne.

From the terrace of the former cathedral of Notre Dame can be seen the snow-clad ridge of the Pyrenees and the umbrageous valley and plain which lie between. In this verdant land there is no suggestion of what used—in ignorance or prejudice—to be called "an aspect austere and sterile."

The cathedral itself is bare, unto poverty, of tombs and monuments, but a mosaic-worked pavement indicates, by its inscriptions and symbols, that many faithful and devout souls lie buried within the walls.

The edifice is of imposing proportions, though it is not to be classed as truly great. From the indications suggested by the heavy pillars and grotesquely carved capitals of its nave, it is manifest that it has been built up, at least in part, from remains of a very early date. It mostly dates from the twelfth century, but in that it was rebuilt during the period of the Renaissance, it is to the latter classification that it really belongs.

The curiously carved capitals of the columns of the nave share, with the frescoes of the apse, the chief distinction among the accessory details. They depict, in their ornate and deeply cut heads, dragons and other weird beasts of the land and fowls of the air, in conjunction with unshapely human figures, and while all are intensely grotesque, they are in no degree offensive.

There is no exceeding grace or symmetry of outline in any of the parts of this church, but, nevertheless, it has the inexplicable power to please, which counts for a great deal among such inanimate things as architectural forms. It would perhaps be beyond the powers of any one to explain why this is so frequently true of a really unassuming church edifice; more so, perhaps, with regard to churches than to most other things—possibly it is because of the local glamour or sentiment which so envelops a religious monument, and hovers unconsciously and ineradicably over some shrines far more than others. At any rate, the former cathedral of Notre Dame at Lescar has this indefinable quality to a far greater degree than many a more ambitiously conceived fabric.

The round-arched window and doorway most prevail, and the portal in particular is of that deeply recessed variety which allows a mellow interior to unfold slowly to the gaze, rather than jump at once into being, immediately one has passed the outer lintel or jamb.

The entire suggestion of this church, both inside and out, is of a structure far more massive and weighty than were really needed for a church of its size, but for all that its very stable dimensions were well advised in an edifice which was expected to endure for ages.

The entire apse is covered, inside, with a series of frescoes of a very acceptable sort, which, though much defaced to-day, are the principal art attribute of the church. Their author is unknown, but they are probably the work of some Italian hand, and have even been credited to Giotto.

The choir-stalls are quaintly carved, with a luxuriance which, in some manner, approaches the Spanish style. They are at least representative of that branch of Renaissance art which was more representative of the highest expression than any other.

In form, this old cathedral follows the basilica plan, and is perhaps two hundred feet in length, and some seventy-five in width.

The grandfather of Henri IV. and his wife—la Marguerites des Marguerites—were formerly buried in this cathedral, but their remains were scattered by either the Huguenots or the Revolutionists.

Curiously enough, too, Lescar was the former habitation of a Jesuit College, founded by Henri IV. after his conversion to the Roman faith, but no remains of this institution exist to-day.



Froissart describes Tarbes as "a fine large town, situated in a plain country; there is a city and a town and a castle ... the beautiful river Lisse which runs throughout all Tharbes, and divides it, the which river is as clear as a fountain."

Froissart himself nods occasionally, and on this particular occasion has misnamed the river which flows through the city, which is the Adour. The rest of his description might well apply to-day, and the city is most charmingly and romantically environed.

Its cathedral will not receive the same adulation which is bestowed upon the charms of the city itself. It is a poor thing, not unlike, in appearance, a market-house or a third-rate town hall of some mean municipality.

Once the Black Prince and his "fair maid of Kent" came to this town of the Bigorre, to see the Count of Armagnac, under rather doleful circumstances for the count, who was in prison and in debt to Gaston Phœbus for the amount of his ransom.

The "fair maid," however, appears to have played the part of a good fairy, and prevailed upon the magnificent Phœbus to reduce the ransom to the extent of fifty thousand francs.

In this incident alone there lies a story, of which all may read in history, and which is especially recommended to those writers of swash-buckler romances who may feel in need of a new plot.

There is little in Tarbes but the memory of a fair past to compel attention from the lover of antiquity, of churches, or of art; and there are no remains of any note—even of the time when the Black Prince held his court here.

The bishopric is very ancient, and dates from the sixth century, when St. Justin first filled the office. In spite of this, however, there is very little inspiration to be derived from a study of this quite unconvincing cathedral, locally known as the Église de la Sède.

This Romanesque-Transition church, though dating from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, has neither the strength and character of the older style, nor the vigour of the new.

The nave is wide, but short, and has no aisles. At the transept is a superimposed octagonal cupola, which is quite unbeautiful and unnecessary. It is a fourteenth-century addition which finally oppresses this ungainly heavy edifice beyond the hope of redemption.

Built upon the façade is a Renaissance portal which of itself would be a disfigurement anywhere, but which here gives the final blow to a structure which is unappealing from every point.

The present-day prefecture was the former episcopal residence.

The bishopric, which to-day has jurisdiction over the Department of the Hautes-Pyrénées, is a suffragan of the mother-see of Auch.



The history of Condom as an ecclesiastical see is very brief.

It was established only in 1317, on an ancient abbey foundation, whose inception is unknown.

For three centuries only was it endowed with diocesan dignity. Its last titulaire was Bishop Bossuet.

The fine Gothic church, which was so short-lived as a cathedral, is more worthy of admiration than many grander and more ancient.

It dates from the early sixteenth century, and shows all the distinct marks of its era; but it is a most interesting church nevertheless, and is possessed of a fine unworldly cloister, which as much as many another—more famous or more magnificent—must have been conducive to inspired meditation.

The portal rises to a considerable height of elegance, but the façade is otherwise austere.

In the interior, a choir-screen in cut stone is the chief artistic treasure. The sacristy is a finely decorated and beautifully proportioned room.

In the choir is a series of red brick or terra-cotta stalls of poor design and of no artistic value whatever.

The ancient residence of the bishops is now the Hôtel de Ville, and is a good example of late Gothic domestic architecture. It is decidedly the architectural pièce de resistance of the town.



Montauban, the location of an ancient abbey, was created a bishopric, in the Province of Toulouse, in 1317, under Bertrand du Puy. It was a suffragan of the see of Toulouse after that city had been made an archbishopric in the same year, a rank it virtually holds to-day, though the mother-see is now known by the double vocable of Toulouse-Narbonne.

Montauban is in many ways a remarkable little city; remarkable for its tidy picturesqueness, for its admirable situation, for the added attraction of the river Tarn, which rushes tumblingly past its quais on its way from the Gorges to the Garonne; in short, Montauban is a most fascinating centre of a life and activity, not so modern that it jars, nor yet so mediæval that it is uncomfortably squalid.

The lover of architecture will interest himself far more in the thirteenth-century bridge of bricks which crosses the Tarn on seven ogival arches, than he will in the painfully ordinary and unworthy cathedral, which is a combination of most of the undesirable features of Renaissance church-building.

The façade is, moreover, set about with a series of enormous sculptured effigies perched indiscriminately wherever it would appear that a foothold presented itself. There are still a few unoccupied niches and cornices, which some day may yet be peopled with other figures as gaunt.

Two ungraceful towers flank a classical portico, one of which is possessed of the usual ludicrous clock-face.

The interior, with its unusual flood of light from the windows of the clerestory, is cold and bare. Its imposed pilasters and heavy cornices are little in keeping with the true conception of Christian architecture, and its great height of nave—some eighty odd feet—lends a further chilliness to one's already lukewarm appreciation.

The one artistic detail of Montauban's cathedral is the fine painting by Ingres (1781-1867) to be seen in the sacristy, if by any chance you can find the sacristan—which is doubtful. It is one of this artist's most celebrated paintings, and is commonly referred to as "The Vow of Louis XIII."




St. Genulphe was the first bishop of Cahors, in the fourth century. The diocese was then, as now, a suffragan of Albi. The cathedral of St. Etienne was consecrated in 1119, but has since—and many times—been rebuilt and restored.

This church is but one of the many of its class, built in Aquitaine at this period, which employed the cupola as a distinct feature. It shares this attribute in common with the cathedrals at Poitiers, Périgueux, and Angoulême, and the great churches of Solignac, Fontevrault, and Souillac, and is commonly supposed to be an importation or adaptation of the domes of St. Marc's at Venice.

A distinct feature of this development is that, while transepts may or may not be wanting, the structures are nearly always without side aisles.

What manner of architecture this style may presume to be is impossible to discuss here, but it is manifestly not Byzantine pur-sang, as most guide-books would have the tourist believe.

Although much mutilated in many of its accessories and details, the cathedral at Cahors fairly illustrates its original plan.

There are no transepts, and the nave is wide and short, its area being entirely roofed by the two circular cupolas, each perhaps fifty feet in diameter. In height these two details depart from the true hemisphere, as has always been usual in dome construction. There were discovered, as late as 1890, in this church, many mural paintings of great interest. Of the greatest importance was that in the westerly cupola, which presents an entire composition, drawn in black and colour.

The cupola is perhaps forty feet in diameter, and is divided by the decorations into eight sectors. The principal features of this remarkable decoration are the figures of eight of the prophets, David, Daniel, Jeremiah, Jonah, Ezra, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Habakkuk, each a dozen or more feet in height.

Taken as a whole, in spite of their recent discovery, these elaborate decorations are supposed to have been undertaken by or under the direction of the bishops who held the see from 1280 to 1324; most likely under Hugo Geraldi (1312-16), the friend of Pope Clement V. and of the King of France. This churchman was burned to death at Avignon, and the see was afterward administered by procuration by Guillaume de Labroa (1316-1324), who lived at Avignon.

It is then permissible to think that these wall-paintings of the cathedral at Cahors are perhaps unique in France. Including its sustaining wall, one of the cupolas rises to a height of eighty-two feet, and the other to one hundred and five feet.

The north portal is richly sculptured; and the choir, with its fifteenth-century ogival chapels, has been rebuilt from the original work of 1285.

The interior, since the recently discovered frescoes of the cupolas, presents an exceedingly rich appearance, though there are actually few decorative constructive elements.

The apse of the choir is naturally pointed, as its era would indicate, and its chapels are ornamented with frescoes of the time of Louis XII.; neither very good nor very bad, but in no way comparable to the decorations of the cupolas.

The only monument of note in the interior is the tomb of Bishop Alain de Solminiac (seventeenth century).

The paintings of the choir are supposed to date from 1315, which certainly places them at a very early date. A doorway in the right of the nave gives on the fifteenth-century cloister, which, though fragmentary, must at one time have been a very satisfactory example. The ancient episcopal palace is now the prefecture. The bishop originally bore the provisional title of Count of Cahors, and was entitled to wear a sword and gauntlets, and it is recorded that he was received, upon his accession to the diocese, by the Vicomte de Sessac, who, attired in a grotesque garb, conducted him to his palace amid a ceremony which to-day would be accounted as buffoonery pure and simple. From the accounts of this ceremony, it could not have been very dignified or inspiring.

The history of Cahors abounds in romantic incident, and its capture by Henry of Navarre in 1580 was a brilliant exploit.

Cahors was the birthplace of one of the French Popes of Avignon, John XXII. (who is buried in Notre Dame des Doms at Avignon).



Agen, with Cahors, Tulle, Limoges, Périgueux, Angoulême, and Poitiers, are, in a way, in a class of themselves with respect to their cathedrals. They have not favoured aggrandizement, or even restoration to the extent of mitigating the sentiment which will always surround a really ancient fabric.

The cathedral at Bordeaux came strongly under the Gothic spell; so did that at Clermont-Ferrand, and St. Nazaire, in the Cité de Carcassonne. But those before-mentioned did not, to any appreciable extent, come under the influence of the new style affected by the architects of the Isle of France during the times of Philippe-Auguste (d. 1223).

At the death of Philippe le Bel (1314), the royal domain was considerably extended, and the cathedrals at Montpellier, Carcassonne, and Narbonne succumbed and took on Gothic features.

The diocese of Agen was founded in the fourth century as a suffragan of Bordeaux. Its first bishop was St. Phérade. To-day the diocese is still under the parent jurisdiction of Bordeaux, and the see comprises the department of Lot-et-Garonne.

A former cathedral church—St. Etienne—was destroyed at the Revolution.

The Romanesque cathedral of St. Caprais dates, as to its apses and transepts, from the eleventh century.

Its size is not commonly accredited great, but for a fact its nave is over fifty-five feet in width; greater than Chartres, and nearly as great as Amiens in the north.

This is a comparison which will show how futile it is not to take into consideration the peers, compeers, or contemporaries of architectural types when striving to impress its salient features upon one's senses.

This immense vault is covered with a series of cupolas of a modified form which finally take the feature of the early development of the ogival arch. This, then, ranks as one of the early transitions between barrel-vaulted and domed roofs, and the Gothic arched vaulting which became so common in the century following.

As to the general ground-plan, the area is not great. Its Romanesque nave is stunted in length, if not in width, and the transepts are equally contracted. The choir is semicircular, and the general effect is that of a tri-apsed church, seldom seen beyond the immediate neighbourhood of the Rhine valley.

The interior effect is considerably marred by the modern mural frescoes by Bézard, after a supposed old manner. The combination of colour can only be described as polychromatic, and the effect is not good.

There are a series of Roman capitals in the nave, which are of more decided artistic worth and interest than any other distinct feature.

At the side of the cathedral is the Chapelle des Innocents, the ancient chapter-house of St. Caprais, now used as the chapel of the college. Its façade has some remarkable sculptures, and its interior attractions of curiously carved capitals and some tombs—supposed to date from the first years of the Christian era—are of as great interest as any of the specific features of the cathedral proper.



The first bishop of Auch was Citerius, in the fourth century. Subsequently the Province d'Auch became the see of an archbishop, who was Primate of Aquitaine. This came to pass when the office was abolished or transferred from Eauze in the eighth century. The diocese is thus established in antiquity, and endures to-day with suffragans at Aire, Tarbes, and Bayonne.

The cathedral of Ste. Marie d'Auch is not of itself an ancient structure, dating only from the late fifteenth century. Its choir, however, ranks among the most celebrated in the Gothic style in all Europe, and the entire edifice is usually accorded as being the most thoroughly characteristic (though varied as to the excellence of its details) church of the Midi of France, though built at a time when the ogival style was projecting its last rays of glory over the land.


In its general plan it is of generous though not majestic proportions, and is rich and aspiring in its details throughout.

An ancient altar in this present church is supposed to have come from the humble basilica which was erected here by St. Taurin, bishop of Eauze, soon after the foundation of the see. If this is so, it is certainly of great antiquity, and is exceedingly valuable as the record of an art expression of that early day.

Taurin II., in 845, rebuilt a former church, which stood on the site of the present cathedral; but, its dimensions not proving great enough for the needs of the congregation, St. Austinde, in 1048, built a much larger church, which was consecrated early in the twelfth century.

Various other structures were undertaken, some completed only in part and others to the full; but it was not until 1548 that the present Ste. Marie was actually consecrated by Jean Dumas.

"This gorgeous ceremony," says the Abbé Bourassé, "was accomplished amid great pomp on the anniversary day of the dedication of the eleventh-century basilica on the same site."

In 1597 further additions were made to the vaulting, and the fine choir glass added. Soon after this time, the glass of the nave chapels was put into place, being the gift of Dominique de Vic. The final building operations—as might be expected—show just the least suspicion of debasement. This quality is to be remarked in the choir-screen, the porch and towers, and in the balustrades of the chapels, to say nothing of the organ supports.

The west front is, in part, as late as the seventeenth century.

In this façade there is an elaborately traceried rose window, indicating in its painted glass a "Glory of Angels." It is not a great work, as these chief decorative features of French mediæval architecture go, but is highly ornate by reason of its florid tracery, and dates, moreover, from that period when the really great accomplishment of designing in painted glass was approaching its maturity.

If any feature of remark exists to excite undue criticism, it is that of a certain incongruity or mixture of style, which, while not widely separated in point of time, has great variation as to excellence.

In spite of this there is, in the general ensemble, an imposing picturesqueness to which distance lends the proverbial degree of enchantment.

The warm mouse-coloured cathedral and its archbishop's palace, when seen in conjunction with the modern ornamental gardens and escalier at the rear, produces an effect more nearly akin to an Italian composition than anything of a like nature in France.

It is an ensemble most interesting and pleasing, but as a worthy artistic effort it does perhaps fall short of the ideal.

The westerly towers are curious heavy works after the "French Classical" manner in vogue during the reign of Louis XIV. They are not beautiful of themselves, and quite unexpressive of the sanctity which should surround a great church.

The portal is richly decorated, and contains statues of St. Roche and St. Austinde. It has been called an "imitation of the portal of St. Peter's at Rome," but this is an opinion wholly unwarranted by a personal acquaintance therewith. The two bear no resemblance except that they are both very inferior to the magnificent Gothic portals of the north.

The interior embellishments are as mixed as to style, and of as varied worth, as those of the exterior.

The painted glass (by a Gascon artist, Arnaud de Moles, 1573) is usually reckoned as of great beauty. This it hardly is, though of great value and importance as showing the development of the art which produced it. The colour is rich,—which it seldom is in modern glass,—but the design is coarse and crude, a distinction that most modern glass has as well. Ergo, we have not advanced greatly in this art.

The chief feature of artistic merit is the series of one hundred and thirteen choir-stalls, richly and wonderfully carved in wood. If not the superior to any others in France, these remarkable examples of Renaissance woodwork are the equal of any, and demonstrate, once again, that it was in wood-carving, rather than sculptures in stone, that Renaissance art achieved its greatest success.

A distinct feature is the disposition made of the accessories of the fine choir. It is surrounded by an elaborate screen, surmounted by sculpture of a richness quite uncommon in any but the grander and more wealthy churches.

Under the reign of St. Louis many of the grand cathedrals and the larger monastic churches were grandly favoured with this accessory, notably at Amiens and Beauvais, at Burgos in Spain, and at Canterbury.

Here the elaborate screen was designed to protect the ranges of stalls and their canopied dossiers, and give a certain seclusion to the chapter and officiants.

Elsewhere—out of regard for the people it is to be presumed—this feature was in many known instances done away with, and the material of which it was constructed—often of great richness—made use of in chapels subsequently erected in the walls of the apside or in the side aisles of the nave. This is to be remarked at Rodez particularly, where the reërected clôture is still the show-piece of the cathedral.

The organ buffet is, as usual (in the minds of the local resident), a remarkably fine piece of cabinet-work and nothing more. One always qualifies this by venturing the opinion that no one ever really does admire these overpowering and ungainly accessories.

What triforium there is is squat and ugly, with ungraceful openings, and the high-altar is a modern work in the pseudo-classic style, quite unworthy as a work of art.

The five apsidal chapels are brilliant with coloured glass, but otherwise are not remarkable.

In spite of all incongruity, Ste. Marie d'Auch is one of those fascinating churches in and about which one loves to linger. It is hard to explain the reason for this, except that its environment provides the atmosphere which is the one necessary ingredient to a full realization of the appealing qualities of a stately church.

The archiepiscopal palace adjoins the cathedral in the rear, and has a noble donjon of the fourteenth century. Its career of the past must have been quite uneventful, as history records no very bloody or riotous events which have taken place within or before its walls.

Fénelon was a student at the College of Auch, and his statue adorns the Promenade du Fossé.




The provincialism of Toulouse has been the theme of many a French writer of ability,—offensively provincial, it would seem from a consensus of these written opinions.

"Life and movement in abundance, but what a life!" ... "The native is saved from coarseness by his birth, but after a quarter of an hour the substratum shows itself." ... "The working girl is graceful and has the vivacity of a bird, but there is nothing in her cackle." ... "How much more beautiful are the stars that mirror themselves in the gutter of the Rue du Bac." ... "There is a yelp in the accents of the people of the town."

Contrariwise we may learn also that "the water is fine," "the quays are fine," and "fine large buildings glow in the setting sun in bright and softened hues," and "in the far distance lies the chain of the Pyrenees, like a white bed of watery clouds," and "the river, dressed always in smiling verdure, gracefully skirts the city."

These pessimistic and optimistic views of others found the contributors to this book in somewhat of a quandary as to the manner of mood and spirit in which they should approach this provincial capital.

They had heard marvels of its Romanesque church of St. Saturnin, perhaps the most perfect and elaborate of any of its kind in all France; of the curious amalgamated edifice, now the cathedral of St. Etienne, wherein two distinct church bodies are joined by an unseemly ligature; of the church of the Jacobins; and of the "seventy-seven religious establishments" enumerated by Taine.

All these, or less, were enough to induce one to cast suspicion aside and descend upon the city with an open mind.

Two things one must admit: Toulouse does somewhat approach the gaiety of a capital, and it is provincial.

Its list of attractions for the visitor is great, and its churches numerous and splendid, so why carp at the "ape-like manners" of the corner loafers, who, when all is said, are vastly less in number here than in many a northern centre of population.

The Musée is charming, both as to the disposition of its parts and its contents. It was once a convent, and has a square courtyard or promenade surrounded by an arcade. The courtyard is set about with green shrubs, and a lofty brick tower, pierced with little arched windows and mullioned with tiny columns, rises skyward in true conventual fashion.

Altogether the Musée, in the attractiveness of its fabric and the size and importance of its collections, must rank, for interest to the tourist, at the very head of those outside Paris itself.

As for the churches, there are many, the three greatest of which are the cathedral of St. Etienne, St. Saturnin, and the Église des Jacobins; in all is to be observed the universal application or adoption of des matériaux du pays—bricks.

In the cathedral tower, and in that of the Église des Jacobins, a Gothic scheme is worked out in these warm-toned bricks, and forms, in contrast with the usual execution of a Gothic design, a most extraordinary effect; not wholly to the detriment of the style, but certainly not in keeping with the original conception and development of "pointed" architecture.

In 1863 Viollet-le-Duc thoroughly and creditably restored St. Saturnin at great expense, and by this treatment it remains to-day as the most perfectly preserved work extant of its class.

It is vast, curious, and in a rather mixed style, though thoroughly Latin in motive.

It is on the border-line of two styles; of the Italian, with respect to the full semicircular arches and vaulting of the nave and aisles; the square pillars destitute of all ornament, except another column standing out in flat relief—an intimation of the quiet and placid force of their functions.

With the transition comes a change in the flowered capitals, from the acanthus to tracery and grotesque animals.

There are five domes covering the five aisles, each with a semicircular vault. The walls, with their infrequent windows, are very thick.

The delightful belfry—of five octagonal stages—which rises from the crossing of the transepts, presents, from the outside, a fine and imposing arrangement. So, too, the chapelled choir, with its apse of rounded vaults rising in imposing tiers. This fine church is in direct descent from the Roman manner; built and developed as a simple idea, and, like all antique and classical work,—approaching purity,—is a living thing, in spite of the fact that it depicts the sentiment of a dead and gone past.

It might not be so successfully duplicated to-day, but, considering that St. Saturnin dates from the eleventh century, its commencement was sufficiently in the remote past to allow of its having been promulgated under a direct and vigorous Roman influence.

The brick construction of St. Saturnin and of the cathedral is not of that justly admired quality seen in the ancient Convent of the Jacobins, which dates from the thirteenth century. Here is made perhaps the most beautiful use of this style of mediæval building. It is earlier than the Pont de Montauban, the churches at Moissac or Lombez, and even the cathedral at Albi, but much later than the true Romanesque brickwork, which alternated rows of brick with other materials.

The builders of Gallo-Romain and Merovingian times favoured this earlier method, but work in this style is seldom met with of a later date than the ninth century.

The Église of St. Saturnin shows, in parts, brickwork of a century earlier than the Église des Jacobins, but, as before said, it is not so beautiful.

When the Renaissance came to deal with brique, it did not do so badly. Certainly the domestic and civil establishments of Touraine in this style—to particularize only one section—are very beautiful. Why the revival was productive of so much thorough badness when it dealt with stone is one of the things which the expert has not as yet attempted to explain; at least, not convincingly.

The contrasting blend of the northern and southern motive in the hybrid cathedral at Toulouse will not remain unnoticed for long after the first sensation of surprise at its curious ground-plan passes off.

Here are seen a flamboyant northern choir and aisles in strange juxtaposition with a thirteenth-century single vaulted nave, after the purely indigenous southern manner.

This nave nearly equals in immensity those in the cathedrals of Albi and Bordeaux. It has the great span of sixty-two feet, necessitating the employment of huge buttresses, which would be remarkable anywhere, in order to take the thrust. The unobstructed flooring of this splendid nave lends an added dignity of vastness. Near the vaulted roof are the only apertures in the walls. Windows, as one knows them elsewhere, are practically absent.

Nave of St. Etienne de Toulouse

Nave of St. Etienne de Toulouse

The congregations which assemble in this great aisleless nave present a curiously animated effect by reason of the fact that they scatter themselves about in knots or groups rather than crowding against either the altar-rail or pulpit, occasionally even overflowing into the adjoining choir. The nave is entirely unobstructed by decorations, such as screens, pillars, or tombs. It is a mere shell, sans gallery, sans aisles, and sans triforium.

The development of the structure from the individual members of nave and choir is readily traced, and though these parts show not the slightest kind of relationship one to the other, it is from these two fragmentary churches that the completed, if imperfect, whole has been made.

The west front, to-day more than ever, shows how badly the cathedral has been put together; the uncovered bricks creep out here and there, and buildings to the left, which formerly covered the incongruous joint between the nave and choir, are now razed, making the patchwork even more apparent. The square tower which flanks the portal to the north is not unpleasing, and dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The portal is not particularly beautiful, and is bare of decorations of note. It appears to have been remodelled at some past time with a view to conserving the western rose window.

There are no transepts or collateral chapels, which tends to make the ground-plan the more unusual and lacking in symmetry.

The choir (1275-1502) is really very beautiful, taken by itself, far more so than the nave, from which it is extended on a different axis.

It was restored after a seventeenth-century fire, and is supposed to be less beautiful to-day than formerly.

There are seventeen chapels in this choir, with much coloured glass of the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, all with weird polychromatic decorations in decidedly bad taste.

Toulouse became a bishopric in the third century, with St. Saturnin as its first bishop. It was raised to the rank of archiepiscopal dignity in 1327, a distinction which it enjoys to-day in company with Narbonne. Six former suffragan bishoprics, Pamiers, Rieux, Mirepoix, Saint-Papoul, Lombez, and Lavaur were suppressed at the Revolution.

In the magnificent Musée of the city is un petit monument, without an inscription, but bearing a cross gammée or Swastika, and a palm-leaf, symbols of the divine Apollo and Artemis. It seems curious that this tiny record in stone should have been found, as it was, in the mountains which separate the sources of the Garonne and the Adour, as the Swastika is a symbol supposedly indigenous to the fire and sun-worshippers of the East, where it figures in a great number of their monuments.

It is called, by the local antiquary, a Pyrenean altar. If this is so, it is of course of pagan origin, and is in no way connected with Christian art.




With old and new Carcassonne one finds a contrast, if not as great as between the hyphenated Hungarian cities of Buda and Pest, at least as marked in detail.

In most European settlements, where an old municipality adjoins a modern one, walls have been razed, moats filled, and much general modernization has been undertaken.

With Carcassonne this is not so; its winding ways, its culs-de-sacs, narrow alleys, and towering walls remain much as they always were, and the great stronghold of the Middle Ages, vulnerable—as history tells—from but one point, remains to-day, after its admirable restoration of roof and capstone, much as it was in the days when modern Carcassonne was but a scattering hamlet beneath the walls of the older fortification.

One thing will always be recalled, and that is that a part of the enceinte of the ancient Cité was a construction of the sixth century—the days of the Visigoths—and that its subsequent development into an almost invulnerable fortress was but the endorsement which later centuries gave to the work and forethought of a people who were supposed to possess no arts, and very little of ingenuity.

This should suggest a line of investigation to one so minded; while for us, who regard the ancient walls merely as a boundary which sheltered and protected a charming Gothic church, it is perhaps sufficient to recall the inconsistency in many previous estimates as to what great abilities, if any, the Goths possessed.

If it is true that the Visigoths merely followed Roman tradition, so much the more creditable to them that they preserved these ancient walls to the glory of those who came after, and but added to the general plan.

Old and new Carcassonne, as one might call them, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries had each their own magistrates and a separate government. The Cité, elevated above the ville, held also the garrison, the presidial seat, and the first seneschalship of the province.

The bishopric of the Cité is not so ancient as the ville itself; for the first prelate there whose name is found upon record was one Sergius, "who subscribed to a 'Council' held at Narbonne in 590."

The Old Cité de Carcassonne before and after the Restoration
The Old Cité de Carcassonne before and after the Restoration

St. Hilaire, who founded the abbey at Poitiers, came perhaps before Sergius, but his tenure is obscure as to its exact date.

The cathedral of St. Michel, in the lower town, has been, since 1803, the seat of the bishop's throne.

It is a work unique, perhaps, in its design, but entirely unfeeling and preposterous in its overelaborate decorations. It has a long parallelogram-like nave, "entièrement peinte," as the custodian refers to it. It has, to be sure, a grand vault, strong and broad, but there are no aisles, and the chapels which flank this gross nave are mere painted boxes.

Episcopal dignity demanded that some show of importance should be given to the cathedral, and it was placed in the hands of Viollet-le-Duc in 1849 for restoration. Whatever his labours may have been, he doubtless was not much in sympathy with this clumsy fabric, and merely "restored" it in some measure approaching its twelfth-century form.

It is with St. Nazaire de Carcassonne, the tiny église of the old Cité and the ci-devant cathedral that we have to do.

This most fascinating church, fascinating for itself none the less than its unique environment, is, in spite of the extended centuries of its growth, almost the equal in the purity of its Gothic to that of St. Urbain at Troyes. And this, in spite of evidences of rather bad joining up of certain warring constructive elements.

The structure readily composes itself into two distinct parts: that of the Romanesque (round arch and barrel vault) era and that of the Gothic of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

No consideration of St. Nazaire de Carcassonne is possible without first coming to a realization of the construction and the functions of the splendidly picturesque and effective ramparts which enclosed the ancient Cité, its cathedral, châteaux, and various civil and domestic establishments.

In brief, its history and chronology commences with the Visigoth foundation, extending from the fifth to the eighth centuries to the time (1356) when it successfully resisted the Black Prince in his bloody ravage, by sword and fire, of all of Languedoc.

Legend has it that in Charlemagne's time, after that monarch had besieged the town for many years and was about to raise the siege in despair, a certain tower,—which flanked the château,—defended only by a Gauloise known as Carcaso, suddenly gave way and opened a breach by which the army was at last able to enter.

A rude figure perpetuating the fame of this Madame Carcaso—a veritable Amazon, it would seem—is still seen, rudely carved, over the Porte Narbonnaise.

Two Capitals of Pillars in St. Nazaire de Carcassonne;
and the Rude Stone Carving of Carcas

Two Capitals of Pillars in St. Nazaire de Carcassonne;
and the Rude Stone Carving of Carcas

It is the inner line of ramparts which dates from the earliest period. The château, the postern-gate, and most of the interior construction are of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, while the outer fortification is of the time of St. Louis, the latter part of the thirteenth century.


The Saracens successfully attacked and occupied the city from 713 to 759, but were routed by Pepin-le-Bref. In 1090 was first founded the strong vicomtale dynasty of the Trencavels. In 1210 the Crusaders, under Simon de Montfort and the implacable Abbot of Citeaux, laid siege to the Cité, an act which resulted in the final massacre, fifty of the besieged—who surrendered—being hanged, and four hundred burned alive.

In addition to the walls and ramparts were fifty circular protecting towers. The extreme length of the inner enclosure is perhaps three-quarters of a mile, and of the outer nearly a full mile.

It is impossible to describe the magnitude and splendour of these city walls, which, up to the time of their restoration by Viollet-le-Duc, had scarcely crumbled at all. The upper ranges of the towers, roof-tops, ramparts, etc., had become broken, of course, and the sky-line had become serrated, but the walls, their foundations, and their outline plan had endured as few works of such magnitude have before or since.

Carcassonne, its history, its romance, and its picturesque qualities, has ever appealed to the poet, painter, and historian alike.

Something of the halo of sentiment which surrounds this marvellous fortified city will be gathered from the following praiseful admiration by Gustave Nadaud:

"'I'm growing old, I've sixty years;
I've laboured all my life in vain;
In all that time of hopes and fears
I've failed my dearest wish to gain;
I see full well that here below
Bliss unalloyed there is for none.
My prayer will ne'er fulfilment know;
I never have seen Carcassonne,
I never have seen Carcassonne!
"'You see the city from the hill—
It lies beyond the mountains blue,
And yet to reach it one must still
Five long and weary leagues pursue,
And, to return, as many more!
Ah! had the vintage plenteous grown,
The grape withheld its yellow store!
I shall not look on Carcassonne,
I shall not look on Carcassonne!
"'They tell me every day is there
Not more nor less than Sunday gay;
In shining robes and garments fair
The people walk upon their way.
One gazes there on castle walls
As grand as those of Babylon,
A bishop and two generals!
I do not know fair Carcassonne,
I do not know fair Carcassonne!
"'The curé's right; he says that we
Are ever wayward, weak, and blind;
He tells us in his homily
Ambition ruins all mankind;
Yet could I there two days have spent,
While the autumn sweetly shone,
Ah, me! I might have died content
When I had looked on Carcassonne,
When I had looked on Carcassonne!
"'Thy pardon, Father, I beseech,
In this my prayer if I offend;
One something sees beyond his reach
From childhood to his journey's end.
My wife, our little boy, Aignan,
Have travelled even to Narbonne,
My grandchild has seen Perpignan,
And I have not seen Carcassonne,
And I have not seen Carcassonne!'
"So crooned one day, close by Limoux,
A peasant double bent with age,
'Rise up, my friend,' said I, 'with you
I'll go upon this pilgrimage.'
We left next morning his abode,
But (Heaven forgive him) half way on
The old man died upon the road;
He never gazed on Carcassonne,
Each mortal has his Carcassonne!"

St. Nazaire is possessed of a Romanesque nave which dates from 1096, but the choir and transepts are of the most acceptable Gothic forms of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

This choir is readily accounted as a masterwork of elegance, is purely northern in style and treatment, and possesses also those other attributes of the perfectionnement of the style—fine glass, delicate fenestration, and superlative grace throughout, as contrasted with the heavier and more cold details of the Romanesque variety.

The nave was dedicated by Urbain II., and was doubtless intended for defence, if its square, firmly bedded towers and piers are suggestive of that quality. The principal porte—it does not rise to the grandeur of a portail—is a thorough Roman example. The interior, with its great piers, its rough barrel-vault, and its general lack of grace and elegance, bespeaks its functions as a stronghold. A Romanesque tower in its original form stands on the side which adjoins the ramparts.

With the choir comes the contrast, both inside and out.

The apside, the transepts, the eleven gorgeous windows, and the extreme grace of its piers and vaulting, all combine in the fullest expression of the architectural art of its time.

This admirable Gothic addition was the work of Bishop Pierre de Rochefort in 1321. The transept chapels and the apse are framed with light soaring arches, and the great easterly windows are set with brilliant glass.

In a side chapel is the former tomb of Simon de Montfort, whose remains were buried here in 1218. At a subsequent time they were removed to Montfort l'Amaury in the Isle of France. Another remarkable tomb is that of Bishop Radulph (1266). It shows an unusually elaborate sculptured treatment for its time, and is most ornate and beautiful.

In the choir are many fine fourteenth-century statues; a tomb with a sleeping figure, thought to be that of Bishop du Puy of Carcassonne; statues of the Virgin, St. Nazaire, and the twelve apostles; an elaborate high-altar; and a pair of magnificent candlesticks, bearing the arms of Bishop Martin (1522).

An eleventh-century crypt lies beneath the choir. The sacristy, as it is to-day, was formerly a thirteenth-century chapel.

The organ is commonly supposed to be the most ancient in France. It is not of ranking greatness as a work of art, but it is interesting to know that it has some redeeming quality, aside from its conventional ugliness.

The tour carrée, which is set in the inner rampart just in front of the cathedral, is known as the Bishop's Tower. It is a tower of many stages, and contains some beautifully vaulted chambers.

The celebrated tour des Visigoths, which is near by, is the most ancient of all.

The entrance to the old Cité is via the Pont Vieux, which is itself a mediæval twelfth or thirteenth century architectural monument of rare beauty. In the middle of this old bridge is a very ancient iron cross.



"Une petite ville sur la rive droite de l'Ariège, siege d'un évêche." These few words, with perhaps seven accompanying lines, usually dismiss this charming little Pyrenean city, so far as information for the traveller is concerned.

It is, however, one of these neglected tourist points which the traveller has ever passed by in his wild rush "across country."

To be sure, it is considerably off the beaten track; so too are its neighbouring ancient bishoprics of Mirepoix and St. Bertrand de Comminges, and for that reason they are comparatively unspoiled.

The great and charming attraction of Pamiers is its view of the serrated ridge of the Pyrenees from the promenade de Castellat, just beyond the cathedral.

For the rest, the cathedral, the fortified Église de Notre Dame du Camp, the ancient Église de Cordeliers, the many old houses, and the general sub-tropical aspect of the country round about, all combine to present attractions far more edifying and gratifying than the allurements of certain of the Pyrenean "watering-places."

The cathedral itself is not a great work; its charm, as before said, lies in its environments.

Its chief feature—and one of real distinction—is its octagonal clocher, in brick, dating from the fourteenth century. It is a singularly graceful tower, built after the local manner of the Midi of France, of which St. Saturnin and the Église des Jacobins at Toulouse are the most notable.

Its base is a broad square machicolated foundation with no openings, and suggests, as truly as does the tower at Albi, a churchly stronghold unlikely to give way before any ordinary attack.

In the main, the church is a rebuilt, rather than a restored edifice. The nave, and indeed nearly all of the structure, except its dominant octagonal tower, is of the seventeenth century. This work was undertaken and consummated by Mansart after the manner of that period, and is far more acceptable than the effect produced by most "restored churches."

The eleventh-century abbey of St. Antoine formed originally the seat of the throne of the first bishop of Pamiers, Bernard Saisset, in 1297.



To-day St. Bertrand de Comminges, the ancient Lugdunum Convenarum (through which one traces its communistic foundation), is possessed of something less than six hundred inhabitants. Remains of the Roman ramparts are yet to be seen, and its ci-devant cathedral,—of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries—suppressed in 1790, still dominates the town from its heights. Arthur Young, writing in the eighteenth century, describes its situation thus: "The mountains rise proudly around and give their rough frame to this exquisite little picture."

The diocese grew out of the monkish community which had settled here in the sixth century, when the prelate Suavis became its first bishop. To-day the nearest bishop's seat is at Tarbes, in the archbishopric of Auch.


As to architectural style, the cathedral presents what might ordinarily be called an undesirable mixture, though it is in no way uninteresting or even unpleasing.

The west front has a curious Romanesque doorway, and there is a massiveness of wall and buttress which the rather diminutive proportions of the general plan of the church make notably apparent. Otherwise the effect, from a not too near view-point, is one of a solidity and firmness of building only to be seen in some of the neighbouring fortress-churches.

A tower of rather heavy proportions is to-day capped with a pyramidal slate or timbered apex after the manner of the western towers at Rodez. From a distance, this feature has the suggestion of the development of what may perhaps be a local type of clocher. Closer inspections, when its temporary nature is made plain, disabuses this idea entirely. It is inside the walls that the great charm of this church lies. It is elaborately planned, profuse in ornament,—without being in any degree redundant,—and has a warmth and brilliancy which in most Romanesque interiors is wanting.

This interior is representative, on a small scale, of that class of structure whose distinctive feature is what the French architect calls a nef unique, meaning, in this instance, one of those great single-chambered churches without aisles, such as are found at Perpignan, new Carcassonne, Lodève, and in a still more amplified form at Albi.

There are of course no aisles; and for a length of something over two hundred feet, and a breadth of fifty-five, the bold vault—in the early pointed style—roofs one of the most attractive and pleasing church interiors it is possible to conceive.

Of the artistic accessories it is impossible to be too enthusiastic. There are sixty-six choir-stalls, most elaborately carved in wood—perhaps mahogany—of a deep rich colouring seldom seen. Numerous other sculptured details in wood and stone set off with unusual effect the great and well-nigh windowless side walls.

The organ buffet of Renaissance workmanship—as will naturally be inferred—is a remarkably elaborate work, much more to be admired than many of its contemporaries.

Among the other decorative features are an elaborately conceived "tree of Jesse," an unusually massive rood-loft or jube, and a high-altar of much magnificence.

The choir is surrounded by eleven chapels, showing in some instances the pure pointed style, and in the latter ones that of the Renaissance.

A fourteenth-century funeral monument of Bishop Hugh de Castillione is an elaborate work in white marble; while a series of paintings on the choir walls,—illustrating the miracles of St. Bertrand,—though of a certain crudity, tend to heighten the interest without giving that effect of the over-elaboration of irrelative details not unfrequently seen in some larger churches.

At St. Bertrand de Comminges and the cathedrals at Arles, Cavaillon, and Aix-en-Provence, Elne-en-Roussillon, and Le Puy-en-Velay are conserved—in a more or less perfect state of preservation—a series of delightful twelfth-century cloisters. These churches possess this feature in common with the purely monastic houses, whose builders so frequently lavished much thought and care on these enclosed and cloistered courtyards.

As a mere detail—or accessory, if you will,—an ample cloister is expressive of much that is wanting in a great church which lacks this contributory feature.

Frequently this part was the first to succumb to the destroying influence of time, and leave a void for which no amount of latter-day improvement could make up. Even here, while the cloister ranks as one of the most beautiful yet to be seen, it is part in a ruinous condition.



This city of the Landes, that wild, bleak region of sand-dunes and shepherds, abuts upon the more prosperous and fertile territory of the valley of the Adour. By reason of this juxtaposition, its daily life presents a series of contrasting elements as quaint and as interesting as those of the bordering Franco-Spanish cities of Perpignan and Bayonne.

From travellers in general, and lovers of architecture in particular, it has ever received but scant consideration, though it is by no means the desert place that early Victorian writers would have us believe. It is in reality a well-built mediæval town, with no very lurid events of the past to its discredit, and, truthfully, with no very marvellous attributes beyond a certain subtle charm and quaintness which is perhaps the more interesting because of its unobtrusiveness.

It has been a centre of Christian activity since the days of the fifth century, when its first bishop, Marcel, was appointed to the diocese by the mother-see of Auch.

The cathedral of St. Jean-Baptiste belongs to the minor class of present-day cathedrals, and is of a decidedly conglomerate architectural style, with no imposing dimensions, and no really vivid or lively details of ornamentation. It was begun in the thirteenth century, and the work of rebuilding and restoration has been carried on well up to the present time.




Castres will ever rank in the mind of the wayfarer along the byways of the south of France as a marvellous bit of stage scenery, rather than as a collection of profound, or even highly interesting, architectural types.

It is one of those spots into which a traveller drops quite unconsciously en route to somewhere else; and lingers a much longer time than circumstances would seem to justify.

This is perhaps inexplicable, but it is a fact, which is only in a measure accounted for by reason of the "local colour"—whatever that vague term of the popular novelist may mean—and customs which weave an entanglement about one which is difficult to resist.

The river Agout is as weird a stream as its name implies, and divides this haphazard little city of the Tarn into two distinct, and quite characteristically different, parts.

Intercourse between Castres and its faubourg, Villegondom, is carried on by two stone bridges; and from either bank of the river, or from either of the bridges, there is always in a view a ravishingly picturesque ensemble of decrepit walls and billowy roof-tops, that will make the artist of brush and pencil angry with fleeting time.

The former cathedral is not an entrancingly beautiful structure; indeed, it is not after the accepted "good form" of any distinct architectural style. It is a poor battered thing which has suffered hardly in the past; notably at the hands of the Huguenots in 1567. As it stands to-day, it is practically a seventeenth-century construction, though it is yet unfinished and lacks its western façade.

The vaulting of the choir, and the chapels are the only constructive elements which warrant remark. There are a few paintings in the choir, four rather attractive life-size statues, and a series of severe but elegant choir-stalls.

The former évêché is to-day the Hôtel de Ville, but was built by Mansart in 1666, and has a fine escalier in sculptured stone.

As a centre of Christianity, Castres is very ancient. In 647 there was a Benedictine abbey here. The bishopric, however, did not come into being until 1317, and was suppressed in 1790.



The cathedral at Rodez, whose diocese dates from the fifth century and whose first bishop was St. Amand, is, in a way, reminiscent—in its majesty of outline and dominant situation—of that at Albi.

It is not, however, after the same manner, but resembles it more particularly with respect to its west façade, which is unpierced in its lower stages by either doorway or window.

Here, too, the entrance is midway in its length, and its front presents that sheer flank of walled barrier which is suggestive of nothing but a fortification.

de RODEZ ...

This great church—for it is truly great, pure and simple—makes up in width what it lacks in length. Its nave and aisles are just covered by a span of one hundred and twenty feet,—a greater dimension than is possessed by Chartres or Rouen, and nearly as great as Paris or Amiens.

Altogether Notre Dame de Rodez is a most pleasing church, though conglomerate as to its architecture, and as bad, with respect to the Renaissance gable of its façade, as any contemporary work in the same style.

Rodez lacks, however, the great enfolding tower central of Albi.

This mellow and warm-toned cathedral, from its beginnings in the latter years of the thirteenth century to the time when the Renaissance cast its dastardly spell over the genius who inspired its original plan, was the result of the persevering though intermittent work of three centuries, and even then the two western towers were left incomplete.

This perhaps was fortunate; otherwise they might have been topped with such an excrescence as looms up over the doorless west façade.

The Gascon compares the pyramidal roofs which cap either tower—and with some justness, too—to the pyramids of Egypt, and for that reason the towers are, to him, the most wonderful in the universe. Subtle humour this, and the observer will have little difficulty in tracing the analogy.

Still, they really are preferable, as a decorative feature, to the tomb-like headboard which surmounts the central gable which they flank. The ground-plan is singularly uniform, with transepts scarcely defined—except in the interior arrangements—and yet not wholly absent.

The elaborate tower, called often and with some justification the beffroi, which flanks, or rather indicates, the northerly transept, is hardly pure as to its Gothic details, but it is a magnificent work nevertheless.

It dates from 1510, is two hundred and sixty-five feet high, and is typical of most of the late pointed work of its era. The final stage is octagonal and is surmounted by a statue of the Virgin surrounded by the Evangelists. This statue may or may not be a worthy work of art; it is too elevated, however, for one to decide.

The decorations of the west front, except for the tombstone-like Renaissance gable, are mainly of the same period as the north transept tower, and while perhaps ultra-florid, certainly make a fine appearance when viewed across the Place d'Armes.

This west front, moreover, possesses that unusual attribute of a southern church, an elaborate Gothic rose window; and, though it does not equal in size or design such magnificent examples as are seen in the north, at Reims, Amiens, or Chartres, is, after all, a notable detail of its kind.

The choir, chevet, and apside are of massive building, though not lacking grace, in spite of the absence of the arcs-boutants of the best Gothic.

Numerous grotesque gargoyles dot the eaves and gables, though whether of the spout variety or mere symbols of superstition one can hardly tell with accuracy when viewed from the ground level.

The north and south portals of the transepts are of a florid nature, after the manner of most of the decorations throughout the structure, and are acceptable evidence of the ingenious craft of the stone-carver, if nothing more.

The workmanship of these details, however, does not rise to the heights achieved by the architect who outlined the plan and foundation upon which they were latterly imposed. They are, too, sadly disfigured, the tympanum in the north portal having been disgracefully ravished.

The interior arrangements are doubly impressive, not only from the effect of great size, but from the novel colour effect—a sort of dull, glowing pink which seems to pervade the very atmosphere, an effect which contrasts strangely with the colder atmosphere of the Gothic churches of the north. A curious feature to be noted here is that the sustaining walls of the vault rest directly on piers sans capitals; as effective, no doubt, as the conventional manner, but in this case hardly as pleasing.

Two altars, one at either end of nave and choir, duplicate the arrangement seen at Albi.

The organ buffet, too, is of the same massiveness and elaborateness, and is consequently an object of supreme pride to the local authorities.

It seems difficult to make these useful and necessary adjuncts to a church interior of the quality of beauty shared by most other accessories, such as screens, altars, and choir-stalls, which, though often of the contemporary Renaissance period, are generally beautiful in themselves. The organ-case, however, seems to run either to size, heaviness, or grotesqueness, or a combination of all. This is true in this case, where its great size, and plentifully besprinkled rococo ornament, and unpleasantly dull and dingy "pipes" are of no æsthetic value whatever. The organ, moreover, occupies the unusual position—in a French church—of being over the western doorway.

The nave is of extreme height, one hundred and ten feet, and is of unusual width, as are also the aisles.

The rose window, before remarked, shows well from the inside, though its glass is not notable.

A series of badly arched lancets in the choir are ungraceful and not in keeping with the other constructive details. The delicately sculptured and foliaged screen or jubé at the crossing is a late fifteenth-century work.

In one of the chapels is now to be seen, in mutilated fragments, the ancient sixteenth-century clôture du chœur. It was a remarkable and elaborate work of bizarre stone-carving, which to-day has been reconstructed in some measure approaching its former completeness by the use of still other fragments taken from the episcopal palace. The chief feature as to completeness and perfection is the doorway, which bears two lengthy inscriptions in Latin. The facing of the clôture throughout is covered with a range of pilasters in Arabesque, but the niches between are to-day bare of their statues, if they ever really possessed them.

Choir-stalls, Rodez

Choir-stalls, Rodez

The choir-stalls and bishop's throne in carved wood are excellent, as also an elaborately carved wooden grille of a mixed Arabesque and Gothic design.

There are four other chapel or alcove screens very nearly as elaborate; all of which features, taken in conjunction one with the other, form an extensive series of embellishments such as is seldom met with.

Two fourteenth-century monuments to former prelates are situated in adjoining chapels, and a still more luxurious work of the same period—the tomb of Gilbert de Cantobre—is beneath an extensive altar which has supposedly Byzantine ornament of the tenth century.

Rodez was the seat of a bishop (St. Amand) as early as the fifth century.

Then, as now, the diocese was a suffragan of Albi, whose first bishop, St. Clair, came to the mother-see in the century previous.



The cathedral of Ste. Cécile d'Albi is one of the most interesting, as well as one of the most curious, in all France. It possesses a quality, rare among churches, which gives it at once the aspect of both a church and a fortress.

As the representative of a type, it stands at the very head of the splendid fortress-churches of feudal times. The remarkable disposition of its plan is somewhat reflected in the neighbouring cathedral at Rodez and in the church at Esnades, in the Department of the Charente-Inférieure.

In the severe and aggressive lines of the easterly, or choir, end, it also resembles the famous church of St. Francis at Assisi, and the ruined church of Sainte Sophie at Famagousta in the Island of Cyprus.

d'ALBI ...

It has been likened by the imaginative French—and it needs not so very great a stretch of the imagination, either—to an immense vessel. Certainly its lines and proportions somewhat approach such a form; as much so as those of Notre Dame de Noyon, which Stevenson likened to an old-time craft with a high poop. A less æsthetic comparison has been made with a locomotive of gigantic size, and, truth to tell, it is not unlike that, either, with its advancing tower.

The extreme width of the great nave of this church is nearly ninety feet, and its body is constructed, after an unusual manner, of a warm, rosy-coloured brick. In fact the only considerable portions of the structure not so done are the clôture of the choir, the window-mullions, and the flamboyant Gothic porch of the south side.

By reason of its uncommon constructive elements,—though by no means is it the sole representative of its kind in the south of France,—Ste. Cécile stands forth as the most considerable edifice of its kind among those which were constructed after this manner of Roman antiquity.

Brickwork of this nature, as is well known, is very enduring, and it therefore makes much for the lasting qualities of a structure so built; much more so, in fact, than the crumbling soft stone which is often used, and which crumbles before the march of time like lead in a furnace.

Ste. Cécile was begun in 1282, on the ruins of the ancient church of St. Croix. It came to its completion during the latter years of the fourteenth century, when it stood much as it does to-day, grim and strong, but very beautiful.

The only exterior addition of a later time is the before-remarked florid south porch. This baldaquin is very charmingly worked in a light brown stone, and, while flamboyant to an ultra degree, is more graceful in design and execution than most works of a contemporary era which are welded to a stone fabric whose constructive and decorative details are of quite a distinctly different species. In other words, it composes and adds a graceful beauty to the brick fabric of this great church; but likely enough it would offend exceedingly were it brought into juxtaposition with the more slim lines of early Gothic. Its detail here is the very culmination of the height to which Gothic rose before its final debasement, and, in its spirited non-contemporaneous admixture with the firmly planted brick walls which form its background, may be reckoned as a baroque in art rather than as a thing outré or misplaced.

In further explanation of the peculiar fortress-like qualities possessed by Ste. Cécile, it may be mentioned here that it was the outcome of a desire for the safety of the church and its adherents which caused it to take this form. It was the direct result of the terrible wars of the Albigenses, and the political and social conditions of the age in which it was built,—the days when the Church was truly militant.

Here, too, to a more impressive extent than elsewhere, if we except the papal palace at Avignon, the episcopal residence as well takes on an aspect which is not far different from that possessed by some of the secular châteaux of feudal times. It closely adjoins the cathedral, which should perhaps dispute this. In reality, however, it does not, and its walls and foundations look far more worldly than they do devout. As to impressiveness, this stronghold of a bishop's palace is thoroughly in keeping with the cathedral itself, and the frowning battlement of its veritable donjon and walls and ramparts suggests a deal more than the mere name by which it is known would justify. Such use as it was previously put to was well served, and the history of the troublous times of the mediæval ages, when the wars of the Protestants, "the cursed Albigenses," and the natural political and social dissensions, form a chapter around which one could weave much of the history of this majestic cathedral and its walled and fortified environment.

The interior of the cathedral will appeal first of all by its very grand proportions, and next by the curious ill-mannered decorations with which the walls are entirely covered. There is a certain gloom in this interior, induced by the fact that the windows are mere elongated slits in the walls. There are no aisles, no triforium, and no clerestory; nothing but a vast expanse of wall with bizarre decorations and these unusual window piercings. The arrangement of the openings in the tower are even more remarkable—what there are of them, for in truth it is here that the greatest likeness to a fortification is seen. In the lower stages of the tower there are no openings whatever, while above they are practically nothing but loopholes.

The fine choir-screen, in stone, is considered one of the most beautiful and magnificent in France, and to see it is to believe the statement. The entire clôture of the choir is a wonderful piece of stonework, and the hundred and twenty stalls, which are within its walls, form of themselves an excess of elaboration which perhaps in a more garish light would be oppressive.

The wall-paintings or frescoes are decidedly not beautiful, being for the most part crudely coloured geometrical designs scattered about with no relation one to another. They date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and are doubtless Italian as to their workmanship, but they betray no great skill on the part of those unknowns who are responsible for them.

The pulpit is an unusually ornate work for a French church, but is hardly beautiful as a work of art. No more is the organ-case, which, as if in keeping with the vast interior, spreads itself over a great extent of wall space.

Taken all in all, the accessories of the cathedral at Albi, none the less than the unique plan and execution thereof, the south porch, the massive tower, the jube and clôture of the choir, the vast unobstructed interior, and the outré wall decorations, place it as one of the most consistently and thoroughly completed edifices of its rank in France. Nothing apparently is wanting, and though possessed of no great wealth of accessory—if one excepts the choir enclosure alone—it is one of those shrines which, by reason of its very individuality, will live long in the memory. It has been said, moreover, to stand alone as to the extensive and complete exemplification of "l'art decoratif" in France; that is, as being distinctively French throughout.

The evolution of these component elements took but the comparatively small space of time covered by two centuries—from the fourteenth to the sixteenth. The culmination resulted in what is still to be seen in all its pristine glory to-day, for Ste. Cécile has not suffered the depredation of many another shrine.

The general plan is distinctly and indigenously French; French to the very core—born of the soil of the Midi, and bears no resemblance whatever to any exotic from another land.

With the decorative elements the case may be somewhat qualified. The baldaquin—like the choir-screen—more than equals in delicacy and grace the portals of such masterworks as Notre Dame de Rouen, St. Maclou, or even the cathedral at Troyes, though of less magnitude than any of these examples. On the other hand, it was undoubtedly inspired by northern precept, as also were the ornamental sculptures in wood and stone which are to be seen in the interior.

Albi was a bishopric as early as the fourth century, with St. Clair as its first bishop. At the time the present cathedral was begun it became an archbishopric, and as such it has endured until to-day, with suffragans at Rodez, Cahors, Mende, and Perpignan.



In the heart of the Gévaudan, Mende is the most picturesque, mountain-locked little city imaginable, with no very remarkable features surrounding it, nor any very grand artificial ones contained within it.

The mountains here, unlike the more fruitful plains of the lower Gévaudan, are covered with snow all of the winter. It is said that the inhabitants of the mountainous upper Gévaudan used to "go into Spain every winter to get a livelihood." Why, it is difficult to understand. The mountain and valley towns around Mende look no less prosperous than those of Switzerland, though to be sure the inhabitants have never here had, and perhaps never will have, the influx of tourists "to live off of," as in the latter region.


During an invasion of the Alemanni into Gaul, in the third century, the principal city of Gévaudan was plundered and ruined. The bishop, St. Privat, fled into the Cavern of Memate or Mende, whither the Germans followed and killed him.

The holy man was interred in the neighbouring village of Mende, and the veneration which people had for his memory caused them to develop it into a considerable place. Such is the popular legend, at any rate.

The city had no bishop of its own, however, until the middle of the tenth century. Previously the bishops were known as Bishops of Gévaudan. At last, however, the prelates fixed their seat at Mende, and "great numbers of people resorted thither by reason of the sepulchre of St. Privat."

By virtue of an agreement with Philippe-le-Bel, in 1306, the bishop became Count of Gévaudan. He claimed also the right of administering the laws and the coining of specie.

Mende is worth visiting for itself alone and for its cathedral. It is difficult to say which will interest the absolute stranger the more.

The spired St. Pierre de Mende is but a fourteenth-century church, with restorations of the seventeenth, but there is a certain grimness and primitiveness about its fabric which would otherwise seem to place it as of a much earlier date.

The seventeenth-century restorations amounted practically to a reconstruction, as the Calvinists had partly destroyed the fabric. The two fine towers of the century before were left standing, but without their spires.

The city itself lies at a height of over seven hundred kilometres, and the pic rises another three hundred kilometres above. The surrounding "green basin of hillsides" encloses the city in a circular depression, which, with its cathedral as the hub, radiates in long, straight roadways to the bases of these verdure-clad hills.

It is not possible to have a general view of the cathedral without its imposing background of mountain or hilltops, and for this reason, while the entire city may appear dwarfed, and its cathedral likewise diminished in size, they both show in reality the strong contrasting effect of nature and art.

The cathedral towers, built by Bishop de la Rovère, are of sturdy though not great proportions, and the half-suggested spires rise skyward in as piercing a manner as if they were continued another hundred feet.

As a matter of fact one rises to a height of two hundred and three feet, and the other to two hundred and seventy-six feet, so at least, they are not diminutive. The taller of these pleasing towers is really a remarkable work.

The general plan of the cathedral is the conventional Gothic conception, which was not changed in the seventeenth-century reconstruction.

The nave is flanked with the usual aisles, which in turn are abutted with ten chapels on either side.

Just within the left portal is preserved the old bourdon called la Non-Pareille, a curiosity which seems in questionable taste for inclusion within a cathedral.

The rose window of the portal shows in the interior with considerable effect, though it is of not great elegance or magnificence of itself.

In the Chapelle des Catechismes, immediately beneath the tower, is an unusual "Assumption." As a work of art its rank is not high, and its artist is unknown, but in its conception it is unique and wonderful.

There are some excellent wood-carvings in the Chapelle du Baptistère, a description which applies as well to the stalls of the choir.

Around the sanctuary hang seven tapestries, ancient, it is said, but of no great beauty in themselves.

In a chapel on the north side of the choir is a "miraculous statue" of la Vierge Noir.

The organ buffet dates from 1640, and is of the ridiculous overpowering bulk of most works of its class.

The bishopric, founded by St. Sévérein in the third century at Civitas Gabalorum, was reëstablished at Mende in the year 1000.

The Ermitage de St. Privat, the holy shrine of the former habitation of the holy man whose name it bears, is situated a few kilometres away on the side of Mont Mimat. It is a favourite place of pilgrimage, and from the platform of the chapel is to be had a fine view of the city and its cathedral.




At Dax, an ancient thermal station of the Romans, is a small cathedral, mainly modern, with a portal of the thirteenth century.

It was reconstructed from these thirteenth-century remains in the seventeenth century, and exhibits no marks of beauty which would have established its ranking greatness even at that time.

Dax was a bishopric in the province of Auch in the third century, but the see was suppressed in 1802.


Eauze was an archbishopric in the third century, when St. Paterne was its first dignitary. Subsequently—in the following century—the archbishopric was transferred to Auch.

As Elusa it was an important place in the time of Cæsar, but was completely destroyed in the early part of the tenth century. Eauze, therefore, has no church edifice which ever ranked as a cathedral, but there is a fine Gothic church of the late fifteenth century which is, in every way, an architectural monument worthy of remark.


The bishopric of Lombez, in the ancient ecclesiastical province of Toulouse, endured from 1328 (a tenth-century Benedictine abbey foundation).

Its first bishop was one Roger de Comminges, a monk who came from the monastic community of St. Bertrand de Comminges.

The see was suppressed in 1790.

St. Papoul

St. Papoul was a bishopric from 1317 until 1790. Its cathedral is in many respects a really fine work. It was an ancient abbatial church in the Romanesque style, and has an attractive cloister built after the same manner.


Rieux is perhaps the tiniest ville of France which has ever possessed episcopal dignity. It is situated on a mere rivulet—a branch of the Arize, which itself is not much more, but which in turn goes to swell the flood of La Garonne. Its one-time cathedral is perhaps not remarkable in any way, though it has a fine fifteenth-century tower in brique. The bishopric was founded in 1370 under Guillaumé de Brutia, and was suppressed in 1790.


Lavaur was a bishopric, in the ecclesiastical province of Toulouse, from 1317 to 1790.

Its cathedral of brick is of the fourteenth century, with a clocher dating from 1515, and a smaller tower, embracing a jacquemart, of the sixteenth century.

In the interior is a fine sixteenth-century painting, but there are no other artistic treasures or details of note.


Oloron was a bishopric under St. Gratus in the sixth century; it ceased its functions as the head of a diocese at the suppression of 1790.

The former cathedral of Ste. Marie is a fine Romanic-Ogivale edifice of the eleventh century, though its constructive era may be said to extend well toward the fifteenth before it reached completion. There is a remarkably beautiful Romanesque sculptured portal. The nave is doubled, as to its aisles, and is one hundred and fifty feet or more in length and one hundred and six wide, an astonishing breadth when one comes to think of it, and a dimension which is not equalled by any minor cathedral.

There are no other notable features beyond the general attractiveness of its charming environment.

The ancient évêche has a fine Romanesque tower, and the cathedral itself is reckoned, by a paternal government, as a "monument historique," and as such is cared for at public expense.


Vabres was a bishopric which came into being as an aftergrowth of a Benedictine foundation of the ninth century, though its episcopal functions only began in 1318, and ceased with the Revolutionary suppression. It was a suffragan in the archiepiscopal diocese of Albi.

Its former cathedral, while little to be remarked to-day as a really grand church edifice, was by no means an unworthy fane. It dates from the fourteenth century, and in part is thoroughly representative of the Gothic of that era. It was rebuilt in the eighteenth century, and a fine clocher added.

St. Lizier or Couserans

The present-day St. Lizier—a tiny Pyrenean city—was the former Gallo-Romain city of Couserans. It retained this name when it was first made a bishopric by St. Valère in the fifth century. The see was suppressed in 1790.

The Église de St. Lizier, of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, consists of a choir and a nave, but no aisles. It shows some traces of fine Roman sculpture, and a mere suggestion of a cloister.

The former bishop's palace dates only from the seventeenth century.


A Benedictine abbey was founded here in the eighth century, and from this grew up the bishopric which took form in 1317 under Raimond de Roquecarne, which in due course was finally abolished and the town stripped of its episcopal rank.

The former cathedral dates from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and in part from the fifteenth. Connected therewith is a sepulchral chapel, called the tour des Maures. It is of two étages, and dates from the twelfth century.

St. Pons de Tomiers

St. Pons is the seat of an ancient bishopric now suppressed. It is a charming village—it can hardly be named more ambitiously—situated at the source of the river Jaur, which rises in the Montagnes Noir in Lower Languedoc.

Its former cathedral is not of great interest as an architectural type, though it dates from the twelfth century.

The façade is of the eighteenth century, but one of its side chapels dates from the fourteenth.

St. Maurice de Mirepoix

Mirepoix is a charming little city of the slopes of the Pyrenees.

Its ancient cathedral of St. Maurice dates from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and has no very splendid features or appointments,—not even of the Renaissance order,—as might be expected from its magnitude. Its sole possession of note is the clocher, which rises to an approximate height of two hundred feet.

The bishopric was founded in 1318 by Raimond Athone, but was suppressed in 1790.




Sketch map showing the usual geographical divisions of France.

Sketch map showing the usual geographical divisions of France. I., north; II., northwest; III., east; IV., southwest; V., southeast: also the present departments into which the government is divided, with their names; and the mediæval provinces which were gradually absorbed into the kingdom of France.

There is in general one bishopric to a department.

The subject-matter of this book treats of all of southwestern and southeastern France; with, in addition, the departments of Saône-et-Loire, Jura, Rhône, Loire, Ain, and Allier.


A Historical Table of the Dioceses of the South of France up to the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Province d'Aix
Name Diocese founded First bishop Date of suppression
Aix Nice, Avignon, Ajaccio, and Digne were allied
therewith in 1802, and Marseilles and Alger in
     (Archbishopric) First century (?) St. Maxim (?)
Antibes Transferred to Grasse
Apt First century (?) St. Auspice 1790
Grasse (Jurisdiction over Antibes.)
Gap Fifth century St. Démétrius
Riez Fifth century St. Prosper 1790
Fréjus Fourth century Acceptus
Sisteron Fifth century Chrysaphius
Province d'Albi
Albi Fourth century St. Clair
1317 (?) Anthime
Castres 647 as a Benedictine
1317 as a Bishopric
Robert, the first Abbot 1790
Mende Third century at
Civitas Gabalorum.
here in the
year 1000
St. Sévérein
and Genialis
Cahors Fourth century St. Genulphe
Rodez Fifth century St. Amand
Arisitum Sixth century detached
from the diocese of
Déothaire Rejoined to Rodez
Abbey, 862.
Bishopric, 1317
Province d'Arles
First century St. Trophime 1790
Marseilles First century St. Lazare
St. Paul-Trois
Châteaux, or
Second century St. Restuit 1790
Toulon Fifth century Honoré 1790
Orange Fifth century St. Luce 1790
Province d'Auch
Third century St. Paterne 720
    (Bishopric then
Fourth century Citerius
Dax Third century St. Vincent 1802
Lectoure Sixth century Heuterius 1790
Comminges Sixth century Suavis 1790
Conserans Fifth century St. Valère 1790
Aire Fifth century Marcel
Bazas Sixth century Sextilius (?)
Tarbes Sixth century St. Justin
Oloron Sixth century Gratus 1790
Lescar Fifth century St. Julien 1790
Bayonne Ninth century Arsias Rocha
Province d'Avignon
  in fifteenth
Fourth century St. Ruf
Carpentras Third century St. Valentin 1790
Vaison Fourth century St. Aubin 1790
Cavaillon Fifth century St. Genialis 1790
Province de Bordeaux
 (Bishopric) Third century
 (Archibishopric) Fourth centuryOriental
Agen Fourth century St. Phérade
Condom Raimond de Galard
  date unknown)
Fourteenth century
Angoulême Third century St. Ansome
Saintes Third century St. Eutrope 1793
Poitiers Third century St. Nectaire
(afterward at
La Rochelle)
Fourteenth century Geoffrey I.
1317 Pierre de La
Périgueux Second century St. Front
1317Raimond de
Province de Bourges
Third century St. Ursin
Clermont-Ferrand Third century St. Austremoine
St. Flour
  (Ancient priory)
1318 Raimond de
Limoges Third century St. Martial
1317Arnaud de
Le Puy Third century St. Georges
Province d'Embrun
Fourth century St. Marcellin 1793
Digne Fourth century St. Domnin
  (afterward at
Fourth century St. Armentaire
Grasse   Raimond de
Vence Fourth century Eusèbe 1790
Glandève Fifth century Fraterne 1790
Senez Fifth century Ursus 1790
  (formerly at
Fourth century Amantius
Province de Lyon
The Archbishop of Lyon was Primate of Gaul.
Second century
St. Pothin
Autun Third century St. Amateur
Mâcon Sixth century Placide 1790
Chalon-sur-Saône Fifth century Paul 1790
Langres Third century St. Just
Bishopric in 1731 Jean Bonhier
Saint Claude
Bishopric in 1742 Joseph de
Province de Narbonne
Third century St. Paul 1802
  (Tenth-century abbey)
1318 Pierre Roger 1790
1318 Barthélmy 1790
Béziers Fourth century St. Aphrodise 1702
Nîmes Fourth century St. Felix
Alais 1694 Chevalier de
Lodève Fourth century (?) St. Flour 1790
Uzès Fifth century Constance 1790
Agde Fifth century St. Vénuste 1790
  (afterward at
Sixth century Beotius
Carcassonne Sixth century St. Hilaire
  (afterward at
Sixth century Domnus
Province de Tarentaise
Fifth century St. Jacques
Sion Fourth century St. Théodule
Aoste Fourth century St. Eustache
Chambéry 1780 Michel Conseil
Province de Toulouse
Third century
St. Saturnin
1297 Bernard Saisset
Rieux 1317 Guillaume
de Brutia
  (Ancient abbey)
1317 Bertrand du Puy
Mirepoix 1318 Raimond
Saint-Papoul 1317 Bernard de la
  (Tenth-century   abbey)
1328Roger de
Lavaur 1317 Roger d'Armagnac1790
Province de Vienne
Second century St. Crescent 1790
Grenoble Third century Domninus
Genève (Switz.) Fourth century Diogène 1801
Annency 1822 Claude de Thiollaz
Valence Fourth century Emelien
Dié Third century Saint Mars
Viviers Fifth century Saint Janvier 1790
St. Jean de Maurienne Fifth century Lucien


The Classification of Architectural Styles in France according to De Caumont's "Abécédaire d'Architecture Religieuse."

Primordiale From the Vth to the Xth centuries.
 SecondaireFrom the end of the Xth century to the beginning of the XIIth
 Tertiaire or
XIIth century
ArchitecturePrimitive XIIIth century
Ogivale Secondaire XIVth century
 Tertiaire XVth and the first part of the XVIth century


A Chronology of Architectural Styles in France

Following more or less upon the lines of De Caumont's territorial and chronological divisions of architectural style in France, the various species and periods are thus further described and defined:

The Merovingian period, commencing about 480; Carlovingian, 751; Romanesque or Capetian period, 987; Transitional, 1100 (extending in the south of France and on the Rhine till 1300); early French Gothic or Pointed (Gothique à lancettes), mid-twelfth to mid-thirteenth centuries; decorated French Gothic (Gothique rayonnant), from the mid-thirteenth to mid-fifteenth centuries, and even in some districts as late as the last decade of the fifteenth century; Flamboyant (Gothique flamboyant), early fifteenth to early sixteenth; Renaissance, dating at least from 1495, which gave rise subsequently to the style Louis XII. and style François I.

With the reign of Henri II., the change to the Italian style was complete, and its place, such as it was, definitely assured. French writers, it may be observed, at least those of a former generation and before, often carry the reference to the style de la Renaissance to a much later period, even including the neo-classical atrocities of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Bizarre or baroque details, or the style perruque, had little place on French soil, and the later exaggerations of the rococo, the styles Pompadour and Dubarri, had little if anything to do with church-building, and are relevant merely insomuch as they indicate the mannerisms of a period when great churches, if they were built at all, were constructed with somewhat of a leaning toward their baseness, if not actually favouring their eccentricities.


Leading forms of early cathedral constructions

Leading forms of early cathedral constructions


The disposition of the parts of a tenth-century church, as defined by Viollet-le-Duc

Of this class are many monastic churches, as will be evinced by the inclusion of a cloister in the diagram plan. Many of these were subsequently made use of, as the church and the cloisters, where they had not suffered the stress of time, were of course retained. St. Bertrand de Comminges is a notable example among the smaller structures.

In the basilica form of ground-plan, which obtained to a modified extent, the transepts were often lacking, or at least only suggested. Subsequently they were added in many cases, but the tenth-century church pur sang was mainly a parallelogram-like structure, with, of course, an apsidal termination.

Plan X Century Church
Plan X Century Church

AThe choir
BThe exedra, meaning literally a niche or throne—in this instance
for the occupancy of the bishop, abbot, or prior—apart
from the main edifice
CThe high-altar
DSecondary or specially dedicated altars
EThe transepts, which in later centuries expanded and lengthened
GThe nave proper, down which was reserved a free passage
separating the men from the women
HThe aisles
IThe portico or porch which precedes the nave (i. e., the
narthen of the primitive basilica), where the pilgrims who
were temporarily forbidden to enter were allowed to wait
KA separate portal or doorway to cloisters
LThe cloister
MThe towers; often placed at the junction of transept and nave,
instead of the later position, flanking the west façade
NThe baptismal font; usually in the central nave, but often in
the aisle
OEntrance to the crypt or confessional, where were usually preserved
the reliques of the saint to whom the church was erected
PThe tribune, in a later day often surrounded by a screen or jubé


A brief definitive gazetteer of the natural and geological divisions included in the ancient provinces and present-day departments of southern France, together with the local names by which the pays et pagi are commonly known

GévaudanIn the Cevennes, a region of forests and mountains
VelayA region of plateaux with visible lava tracks
Lyonnais-BeaujolaisThe mountain ranges which rise to the westward of Lyons
MorvanAn isolated group of porphyrous and granite elevations
Haute-AuvergneThe mountain range of Cantal
Basse-AuvergneThe mountain chains of Mont Dore and des Dômes
LimousinA land of plateaux, ravines, and granite
AgenaisRocky and mountainous, but with its valleys among the richest in all France
Haut-QuercyA rolling plain, but with little fertility
Bas-QuercyThe plains of the Garonne, the Tarn, and the Avéyron
ArmagnacAn extensive range of petites montagnes running in various directions
LandesA desert of sand, forests, and inlets of the sea
BéarnA country furrowed by the ramifications of the range of the Pyrenees
Basse-NavarreA Basque country situated on the northern slope of the Pyrenees
BigorreThe plain of Tortes and its neighbouring valleys
SavoieA region comprising a great number of
valleys made by the ramifying ranges of
the Alps. The principal valleys being
those of Faucigny, the Tarentaise, and the Maurienne
BourbonnaisA country of hills and valleys which, as to general
limits, corresponds with the Department of the Allier
NivernaisAn undulating region between the Loire and the Morvan
BerryA fertile plain, slightly elevated, to the northward of Limousin
SologneAn arid plain separated by the valleys of the Cher and the Indre
GatinaisA barren country northeast of Sologne
SaintongeSlightly mountainous and covered with vineyards—also
in parts partaking of the
characteristics of the Landes
AngoumoisA hilly country covered with a growth of vines
PérigordAn ensemble of diverse regions, often hilly,
but covered with a luxuriant forest growth
Bordelais(Comprising Blayais, Fronsadais, Libournais,
Entre-deux-mers, Médoc, and Bazadais.)
The vine-lands of the Garonne, La Gironde,
and La Dordogne
DauphinéAnother land of mountains and valleys. It
is crossed by numbers of ranges and distinct
peaks. The principal subdivisions
are Viennois, Royonnais Vercors, Trièves,
Dévoluy, Oisons, Graisivaudan, Chartreuse,
Queyras Valgodemar, Champsaur.
ProvenceA region of fertile plains dominated by volcanic
rocks and mountains. It contains
also the great pebbly plain in the extreme
southwest known as the Crau
CamargueThe region of the Rhône delta
LanguedocProperly the belt of plains situated between
the foot of the Cevennes and the borders
of the Mediterranean
RousillonThe region between the peaks of the Corbière
and the Albère mountain chain. The
population was originally pure Catalan
LauragaisA stony plateau with red earth deposited
in former times by the glaciers of the Pyrenees
AlbigeoisA rolling and fertile country
ToulousainA plain well watered by the Garonne and the Ariège
CommingesThe lofty Pyrenean valleys of the Garonne basin


Sketch map of the bishoprics and archbishoprics of the south of France at the present day Sketch map of the bishoprics and archbishoprics of the south of France at the present day


Dimensions and Chronology


Bishopric founded, Vth century
Bishopric suppressed, 1790
Primitive church consecrated, VIIth century
Main body of present cathedral, XIth to XIIth centuries


Former cathedral of St. Etienne, destroyed at the Revolution, 1790
Apse and transepts of St. Caprias, XIth century
Width of nave, 55 feet


Cathedral begun, XIIIth century


Eglise St. Jean de Malte, XIVth century
Remains of a former St. Saveur's, XIth century
Choir, XIIIth century
Choir elaborated, XIVth century
South aisle of nave, XIVth century
Tower, XIVth century
Carved doors, 1503
Episcopal palace, 1512
North aisle of nave, XVIIth century
Baptistère, VIth century


A bishopric only from 1694 to 1790
Remains of a XIIth century church


Begun, 1277
Finished, 1512
South porch, 1380-1400
Tower completed, 1475
Choir-screen, 1475-1512
Wall paintings, XVth to XVIth centuries
Organ, XVIIIth century
Choir stalls, 120 in number
Height of tower, 256 feet
Length, 300 (320?) feet
Width of nave, 88 feet
Height of nave, 98 feet


Primitive cathedral, IXth century (?)
Rebuilt, XIth century
Eglise St. André, XIVth to XVth centuries


City ravaged by Coligny, XVIth century
Cathedral rebuilt from foundations of primitive church, 1120
Western dome, XIIth century
Central and other domes, latter part of XIIth century
Episcopal palace restored, XIXth century
General restoration of cathedral, after the depredations of Coligny, 1628
Height of tower, 197 feet


Christianity first founded here, IVth century
Cathedral dates from XIVth century
Tomb of St. François de Sales, 1622
Tomb of Jeanne de Chantal, 1641
Episcopal palace, 1784


Gallo-Romain sarcophagus, Vth century
Tomb of Ducs de Sabron, XIIth century
Chapelle de Ste. Anne, XVIIth century


Primitive church on same site, 606
Foundations of present cathedral laid, 1152
Nave completed, 1200
Choir and chapels, 1423-1430
Cloisters, east side, 1221
Cloisters, west side, 1250
Cloisters, north side, 1380
Length, 240 feet
Width, 90 feet
Height, 60 feet
Height of clocher, 137 feet


Ancient altar, IVth century
First cathedral built by Taurin II., 845
Another (larger) by St. Austinde, 1048
Present cathedral consecrated, 1548
Additions made and coloured glass added, 1597
West front, in part, XVIIth century
Towers, 1650-1700
Episcopal palace, XIVth century
Length, 347 feet
Height to vaulting, 74 feet


Territory of Avignon acquired by the Popes from Joanna of Naples, 1300
Popes reigned at Avignon, 1305-1370
Avignon formally ceded to France by Treaty of Tolentino, 1797
Palais des Papes begun, XIIIth century
Pope Gregory left Avignon for Rome, 1376
Cathedral dates chiefly from XIIth century
Nave chapels, XIVth century
Frescoes in portal, XIVth century
Height of walls of papal palace, 90 feet
      "      "     tower    "        "     150 feet
Length of cathedral, 200 (?) feet
Width of cathedral, 50 (?) feet


Foundations, 1140
Choir and apse, XIIth century
Destroyed by fire, 1213
Choir rebuilt, 1215
Completed and restored, XVIth century


Foundations date from Xth century
Walls, etc., 1233
West front, XVIth century


Gothic portion of cathedral, XVth century


Primitive church damaged by fire, 1209
Transepts, XIIIth century
Towers, XIVth century
Apside and nave, XIVth century
Glass and grilles, XIVth century
Cloister, XIVth century
Height of clocher, 151 feet


Three cathedral churches here before the XIth century
Romanesque structure, XIth century
Present cathedral dates from 1252
North transept portal, XIVth century
Noailles monument, 1662
Length, 450 feet
Width of nave, 65 feet


Main body dates from XVth to XVIIth centuries
Choir and apse, XVth to XVIth centuries
Choir stalls, XVIth century


Bishopric founded, IVth century
Cathedral consecrated, 1119
Cupola decorations, 1280-1324
Choir chapels, XVth century Choir, 1285
Tomb of Bishop Solminiac, XVIIth century
Choir paintings, 1315
Cloister, XIIth to XVth century
Cupolas of nave, 50 feet in diameter
Cupolas of choir, 49 feet in height
Height from pavement to cupolas of choir, 82 feet
Height from pavement to cupolas of nave, 195 feet
Portal and western towers, XIVth century


Present-day cathedral, St. Michel, in lower town, 1083
Restored by Viollet-le-Duc, 1849
Visigoth foundation walls of old Cité, Vth to VIIIth centuries
Cité besieged by the Black Prince, 1536
Château of Cité and postern gate, XIth and XIIth centuries
Outer fortifications with circular towers of the time of St. Louis, XIIIth century
Length inside the inner walls, ¼ mile
Length inside the outer walls, 1 mile
Saracens occupied the Cité, 783
Routed by Pepin le Bref, 759
Viscountal dynasty of Trencavels, 1090
Besieged by Simon de Montfort, 1210
Romanesque nave of St. Nazaire, 1096
Choir and transepts, XIIIth and XIVth centuries
Remains of Simon de Montfort buried here (since removed), 1218
Tomb of Bishop Radulph, 1266
Statues in choir, XIVth century
High-altar, 1522
Crypt, XIth century
Sacristy, XIIIth century
The "Pont Vieux," XIIth and XIIIth centuries


A Roman colony under Augustus, Ist century
St. Siffrein, patron of the cathedral, died, XVIth century
Edifice mainly of the XVIth century
Paintings in nave, XVIIIth and XIXth centuries
Tomb of Bishop Buti, 1710
Episcopal palace built, 1640
Arc de Triomphe, Ist or IId century
Porte d'Orange, XIVth century


Cathedral dates mainly from XVIIth century


Cathedral consecrated by St. Veran, in person, 1259
Tomb of Bishop Jean de Sade, XVIIth century


Cathedral completed, XVIth century
Rebuilt, after a disastrous fire, XVIIth century
Remains of early nave, dating from XIIIth century
Bishopric founded, Vth century
Height of nave, 90 feet
Length of nave, 350 feet


First bishop, Michel Conseil, 1780
Main body of cathedral dates from XIVth century


Choir and nave, 1248-1265
Urban II. preached the Crusades here, 1095
Sanctuary completed, XIIIth century
Nave completed, except façade, XIVth century
Rose windows, XVth century
Western towers and portal, XIXth century
Height of towers, 340 feet
Height of nave, 100 feet


First monastery here, VIth century
Present cathedral mainly XIIth to XIVth centuries
First bishop, Suavis, VIth century
Monument to Bishop Hugh de Castellane, XIVth century
Length, 210 feet (?)
Width, 55 feet (?)


Main fabric, XIIIth century
Reconstructed, XVIIIth century


A bishopric in 1285, and from 1672 until 1801
Porch, XIth century
Romanesque fragments in "Porte Rouge," XIth century
Restored and rebuilt, XVIIth century
Length of nave, 270 feet
Width of nave, 76 feet


Town destroyed, Xth century
Gothic church (not, however, the former cathedral), XVth century


Cathedral rebuilt from a former structure, XVth century
Cloister, XVth century


North porch and peristyle, XIIth century
Romanesque tower rebuilt, XIVth century
The "Tour Brune" XIth century
High-altar, XVIIIth century
Painted triptych, 1518
Coloured glass, XVth century
Organ and gallery, XVIth century


Foundations of choir, XIth century
Tabernacle, XVth century
Tomb of Abbé Chissé, 1407
Former episcopal palace, XIth century
Present episcopal palace, on same site, XVth century
Eglise St André, XIIIth century
"La Grande Chartreuse," founded by St. Bruno, 1084
"La Grande Chartreuse," enlarged, XVIth to XVIIth centuries
Monks expelled, 1816 and 1902


City besieged unsuccessfully, 1573
City besieged and fell, XVIIth century
Huguenots held the city from 1557 to 1629
Present cathedral dates from 1735


First bishop, St. Georges, IIId century
Primitive cathedral, Vth century
West façade of present edifice, XIIth century
Choir, Xth century
Virgin of Le Puy, 50 feet in height
Aguille de St. Michel, 250 feet in height, 50 feet in circumference at top, 500 feet at base


Nave, XVth and XVIth centuries
Romanesque portion of nave, XIth century
Lower portion of tower, XIth century
Clocher, XIIIth century
Choir, XIIIth century
Transepts, XIVth and XVth centuries
Choir-screen, 1543
Coloured glass, XVth and XIXth centuries
Tomb of Bishop Brun, 1349; de la Porte, 1325; Langeac, 1541
Crypt, XIth century
Height of clocher, 240 feet
Enamels of reredos, XVIIth century


City converted to Christianity, 323
Earliest portion of cathedral, Xth century
Main portion of fabric, XIIth century
Cathedral completed, XVIth century
Tomb of Bishop de la Panse, 1658
Height of nave, 80 feet


Ancient abbey, VIIth century
First bishop appointed, 1317
Richelieu bishop here, 1616-1624
Main fabric of cathedral dates from XIIth to XVIIth centuries
Fabric restored, 1853
Cloister of episcopal palace, XVth century


Bridge across Saône, Xth century
Earliest portions of cathedral, 1180
Concile générale of the Church held at Lyons, 1245 and 1274
Portail, XVth century
Glass of choir, XIIIth and XIVth centuries
Great bourdon, 1662
Weight of great bourdon, 10,000 kilos
Chapelle des Bourbons, XVth century
Astronomical clock, XVIth and XVIIth centuries


First bishop, St. Lasare, Ist century
Ancient cathedral built upon the ruins of a temple to Diana, XIth century
New cathedral begun, 1852
Practically completed, 1893
Length, 460 feet
Height of central dome, 197 feet


Relique of St. Jean Baptiste, first brought here in VIth century
Cloister, 1452


First bishop, Xth century
Main fabric of cathedral, XIVth century
Restoration, XVIIth century
Towers, XVIth century
Organ-case, 1640
Height of western towers, 203 and 276 feet


Bishopric removed here from Maguelonne, 1536
Pope Urban V. consecrated present cathedral in a former Benedictine abbey, 1364
Length of nave, 181 feet
Width of nave, 49 feet
Length of choir, 43 feet
Width of choir, 39 feet


Towers and west front, XIXth century
Choir and nave, 1465-1507
Coloured glass, XVth and XVIth centuries
Choir restoration completed, 1885
Sepulchre, XVIth century
Height of western spires, 312 feet
Château of Ducs de Bourbon (facing the cathedral) XIVth century


Choir begun, 1272-1330
Choir rebuilt, XVIIIth century
Remains of cloister, XIVth and XVth century
Towers, XVth century
Tombs of bishops, XIVth to XVIth centuries
Organ buffet, 1741
Height of choir vault, 120 (127?) feet


St. Felix the first bishop, IVth century
St. Castor as bishop, 1030
Cathedral damaged by wars of XVIth and XVIIth centuries
Length of grande axe of Arena, 420 feet
Capacity of Arena, 80,000 persons


Earliest portions, XIth century
Completed, XVth century
Length of nave, 150 feet
Width of nave, 106 feet


Oldest portions, 1085
Nave, 1085-1126


Clocher, XIVth century
Nave rebuilt, XVIIth century
Ancient Abbey of St. Antoine, XIth century
First bishop, Bernard Saisset, 1297


Primitive monastery founded, VIth century
Cathedral dates from 984-1047
Cathedral rebuilt, XIIth century
Cathedral restored, XIXth century
Pulpit in carved wood, XVIIth
Confessionals, Xth or XIth century
Paintings in vaulting, XIth century
Length of nave, 197 feet
Height of pillars of nave, 44 feet
Height of cupola of clocher, 217 feet
Height of great arches in interior, 65 feet


Tower, XIVth century
Rétable, XIV century
Altar-screen, XIVth century
Bishop's tomb, 1695


Eglise St. Hilaire, Xth and XIth centuries
Baptistère, IVth to XIIth centuries
St. Radegonde, XIth and XIIth centuries
Cathedral begun, 1162
High-altar dedicated, 1199
Choir completed, 1250
Western doorway, XVth century
Coloured glass, XIIIth and XVIIIth centuries


Dates chiefly from 1275
Choir, XIVth century
Nave, XVth century
Cross-vaults, tribune, sacristy door, and façade, from about 1535
Clôture of choir designed by Cusset
Terrace to episcopal palace designed by Philandrier, 1550
Episcopal palace itself dates, in the main, from XVIIth century
Rose window of façade is the most notable in France south of the Loire, excepting Poitiers


Eglise St. Eutrope, 1081-1096
Primitive cathedral, 1117
Cathedral rebuilt, 1585
First two bays of transept, XIIth century
Nave completed, XVth century
Vaulting of choir and nave, XVth to XVIIth centuries
Height of flamboyant tower (XIVth century), 236 feet


Benedictine abbey dates from VIIIth century
Cathedral mainly of XIth and XIIth centuries
Sepulchral chapel, XIIth century


First bishop, St. Théodule, IVth century
Choir of Eglise Ste. Catherine, Xth or XIth century
Bishop of Sion sent as papal legate to Winchester, 1070
Main body of cathedral, XVth century


Abbey founded by St. Claude, Vth century
Bishopric founded by Jos. de Madet, 1742
Bishopric suppressed, 1790
Bishopric revived again, 1821
Main fabric of cathedral, XIVth century
Cathedral restored, XVIIIth century
Length, 200 feet (approx.)
Width, 85 feet        "
Height, 85 feet        "


Bishopric founded, 1318
Present cathedral begun, 1375
   "          "    dedicated, 1496
   "          "    completed, 1556
Episcopal palace, 1800
Château de St. Flour, 1000


Former cathedral, XIIth and XIIIth centuries
Bishop's palace, XVIIth century


Main body of fabric, XIth and XIIth centuries
Façade, XVIIth century
Length of nave, 160 feet
Width of nave, 35 feet


Nave, XIIIth century
Tower, XVth and XVIth century
Choir, 1275-1502
Bishopric founded, IIId century
Archbishopric founded, 1327
Width of nave, 62 feet


Chapel to St. Restuit first erected here, IVth century
Town devastated by the Vandals, Vth century
   "            "          "     "    Saracens, 736
   "            "          "     "    Protestants, XIVth century
   "            "          "     "    Catholics, XIVth century
Former cathedral, XIth and XIIth centuries


Benedictine foundation, VIIth century
Cloister, VIIth century (?)
Bishopric founded, 1317
Romanesque and transition nave, XIIth century


Inhabitants of the town, including the bishop, mostly became Protestant, XVIth century
Cathedral rebuilt and restored, XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries
Tour Fénestrelle, XIIIth century
Organ-case, XVIIth century
Height of the "Tour Fénestrelle," 130 feet


Cloister, XIth century
Eglise de St. Quinin, VIIth century


Cathedral rebuilt and reconsecrated by Urban II., XIth century
Reconstructed, 1604
Bishopric founded, IVth century
Foundations laid, XIIth century
Cenotaph to Pius VI., 1799
Height of tower, 187 feet


Principally, XIVth century
Rebuilt and reconstructed, and clocher added, XVIIIth century


Fabric of various eras, VIth, Xth, XIIth, and XVth centuries
Rétable, XVIth century
Choir-stalls, XVth century


Bishopric dates from IId century
St. Crescent, first bishop, 118
Cathedral begun, 1052
Reconstructed, 1515
Coloured glass, in part, XIVth century
Tomb of Cardinal de Montmorin, XVIth century
Metropolitan privileges of Vienne confirmed by Pope Paschal II., 1099


Choir, XIVth century
Tower, XIVth and XVth centuries


Abbey of Cluny, 59, 61.
Abbey of Montmajour, 230.
Acre, 56.
Adelbert, Count of Périgueux, 38.
Adour, River, 417.
Agde, 53, 358, 359.
Agde, Cathédrale de, 358-360, 520.
Agen, 42, 429.
Agen, St. Caprais de, 429, 431, 520.
Agout, River, 471.
Aigues-Mortes, 228, 319, 320.
Aire, St. Jean Baptiste de, 469, 470, 521.
Aix, 36, 230, 283, 293, 323, 324.
Aix St. Jean de Malte, 324.
Aix, St. Sauveur de, 323-327, 521.
Ajaccio, 47.
Alais, 249-251.
Alais, St. Jean de, 249-251, 521.
Alberoni, Cardinal, 240.
Albi, 27, 41, 53, 54, 61, 95, 98, 274.
Albi, Ste. Cécile de, 363, 482-489, 522.
Albigenses, The, 365, 485, 486.
Alet, 42.
Alet, St. Pierre de, 350, 351, 522.
Amantius, 330.
Amiens, 60, 62.
Andorra, Republic of, 373.
Angers, Château at, 66.
Angers, St Maurice d', 97.
Angoulême, 55, 61, 73, 120, 124.
Angoulême, St. Pierre de, 73, 120-125, 523.
Anjou, 45, 71.
Anjou, Duke of, 40, 44.
Anjou, Henry Plantagenet of, 39.
Anjou (La Trinité), 56.
Annecy, 252-254, 256.
Annecy, St. Pierre de, 252-254, 523.
Antibes, 330, 339, 341.
Aosti, 268.
Apt, 289-291.
Apt, St. Castor de, 523.
Aquitaine, 38, 62.
Aquitanians, The, 38.
Aquitanian architecture, 54, 55, 66.
Arc de Triomphe (Saintes), 115.
Architecture, Church, 50-56.
Ariosto, 235.
Arles, 28, 33, 61, 217, 228-235, 283, 293.
Arles, Archbishop of, 46.
Arles, St. Trophime de, 37, 202, 228-235, 524.
Arnaud, Bishop, 354.
Auch, St. Marie de, 432-438, 524.
Auch, College of, 438.
Augustus, 221.
Autun, Bishop of (Talleyrand-Périgord), 46.
Auvergne, 29, 62, 72-74.
Auzon, 221.
Avignon, 33, 41, 53, 54, 241.
Avignon, Papal Palace at, 377, 485.
Avignon, Notre Dame des Doms, 204-220, 525.
Avignon, Ruf d', 36.

Baptistère of St. Siffrein de Carpentras, 222.
Baptistère, The (Poitiers), 95, 96, 101.
Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourvière, 185.
Bayonne, 28, 57, 373, 387, 405-407, 410, 411.
Bayonne, Notre Dame de, 405-410, 525.
Bazas, St. Jean de, 411, 412, 526.
Bazin, René, 229, 235.
Bearn, Province of, 395, 406.
Beauvais, Lucien de, 37.
Becket, Thomas à, 111.
Belley, 267.
Belley, Cathédrale de, 526.
Benedict XII., Pope, 211, 216.
Bénigne, 171.
Berengarius II., 371.
Berri, 71, 72.
Besançon, 267, 274.
Besançon, Lin de, 36.
Béthanie, Lazare de, 36.
Bézard, 431.
Béziers, 53, 363-365.
Béziers, Bishop of, 365.
Béziers, St. Nazaire de, 363-367, 526.
Bichi, Alexandri, 224.
Bishops of Carpentras, 221.
Bishop of Ypres, 48.
"Black Prince," The, 418, 453.
Blois, Château at, 66.
Breakspeare, 230.
Bretagne, Slabs in, 64.
Bridge of St. Bénezet, 219.
Bordeaux, 57, 384, 387, 396, 397, 401.
Bordeaux, St. André de, 94, 396-401, 526.
Bossuet, Bishop, 420.
Bourassé, Abbé, 83, 89, 328, 354, 433.
Bourbons, The, 126, 127. 130.
Bourg, 277-279.
Bourg, Notre Dame de, 277-279, 526.
Bourges, 41, 62.
Bovet, François, 281.
Boyan, Bishop, 247.
Buti, Bishop Laurent, 224.

Cæsar, 171.
Cahors, 42, 44, 425, 428.
Cahors, St. Etienne de, 425-428, 527.
Cairène type of mosque, 55.
Calixtus II., 189.
Canal du Midi, 367.
Canova, 194, 334.
Capet, Hugh, 38, 39.
Carcassonne, 28, 53, 319, 449-457.
Carcassonne, St. Nazaire de, 57, 319, 449-460, 527.
Carpentras, 221-226.
Carpentras, St. Siffrein de, 221-225, 528.
Carton, Dominique de, 224.
Castres, 42, 471.
Castres, Sts. Benoit et Vincent de, 471-473, 528.
Cathédrale d'Agde, 358-360, 520.
Cathédrale de Belley, 526.
Cathédrale de Chambéry, 255-257, 529.
Cathédrale de Condom, 420, 421.
Cathédrale de Dax, 530.
Cathédrale d'Eauze, 531.
Cathédrale de Lectoure, 402-404.
Cathédrale de Luçon, 85, 86, 533.
Cathédrale de Montauban, 422-424.
Cathédrale de Pamiers, 461-463, 536.
Cathédrale de Sarlat, 540.
Cathédrale de Sion, 302-304, 540.
Cathedral of St. Michel, Carcassonne, 451, 452.
Cathédrale de Tulle, 118, 119, 542.
Cathédrale de Vabres, 543.
Cathédrale de Vaison, 226, 227, 543.
Cathedrale de Viviers, 195, 196, 544.
Cavaillon, 226.
Cavaillon, St. Veran de, 200-203, 528.
Cevennes, 30, 72, 76-79, 136.
Chalons, Simon de, 247.
Chalons-sur-Saône, St. Etienne de, 170-173, 529.
Chambéry, 28, 253, 255-257, 264, 267, 270.
Chambéry, Cathédrale de, 529.
Chapelle des Innocents, Agen, 431.
Charente, River, 115.
Charlemagne, 58, 59, 214.
Charles V., 40, 45, 323.
Charles VIII., 65.
Charles the Great, 304.
Charterhouse, near Grenoble, 62.
Chartres, 60, 62, 232.
Chartres, Aventin de, 37.
Chartreuse, La Grande, 48, 162, 531.
Chavannes, Puvis de, 102, 342.
Chissé, Archbishop, 260.
Chrysaphius, Bishop, 281.
Church of St. Saturnin (Toulouse), 440-444.
Church of the Jacobins (Toulouse), 440, 441, 443, 444.
Clairvaux, 62.
Clement V., Pope, 33, 211, 398, 400.
Clement VI., 219,
Clermont-Ferrand, 29, 33, 52, 57, 73, 74.
Clermont-Ferrand, Notre Dame de, 144-151, 530.
Clermont (St. Austremoine), 37.
Cluny, Abbey of, 51, 59.
Coligny, 121.
Comminges, 464.
Comminges, Roger de, 496.
Comminges, St. Bertrande, 62, 464-468, 530.
Comté de Nice, 256.
Condom, 42.
Condom, Cathédrale de, 420, 421.
Conflans, Oger de, 271.
Conseil, Michel, 256.
Constantin, Palais de, 230.
Corsica, Diocese of, 47.
Coucy, Chateau at, 66.
Coulon, 291.

Danté, 134.
Daudet, 165.
Dauphiné, 30, 161, 162, 297, 298.
Dax, 495.
Dax, Cathédrale de, 530.
Delta of Rhône, 168.
D'Entrevaux, 280.
De Sade, Laura, 204, 207, 208.
Deveria, 250.
Dié, Notre Dame de, 287, 288, 531.
Digne, 281, 283-286.
Dijon, 171.
Dijon, St. Bénigne of, 63.
Dioceses of Church in France, 39, 40.
Diocese of Corsica, 47.
Domninus, 259.
Dordogne, 29.
Duclaux, Madame, 25, 229, 235.
Ducs de Sabron, Tomb of, 290.
Duke of Anjou, 40, 44.
Dumas, Jean, 433.
Durance, River, 162, 292.
Dürer, Albrecht, 325.

Eauze, 495, 496.
Eauze, Cathédrale de, 531.
Edward I., 400.
Edwards, Miss M. E. B., 24.
Eglise de Brou, 277.
Eglise des Cordeliers, 207.
Eglise de Grasse, 339, 340.
Eglise de la Grande Chartreuse, 263.
Eglise de St André, 260, 351.
Eglise de St. Claire, 208.
Eglise de St. Pol, 75.
Eglise de Souillac, 55.
Eglise Notre Dame du Port, 145.
Eglise St Nizier, 179.
Eglise St. Quinin, 227.
Eleanor of Poitou and Guienne, 39.
Elne, 369, 372, 373.
Elne, Ste. Eulalia de, 372-374, 532.
Emaux de Limoges, 104-107.
Embrun, 230, 283, 285, 292-295, 300.
Embrun, Notre Dame de, 292-295, 531.
Escurial of Dauphiné, 62.
Espérandieu, 348.
Etats du Languedoc, 251.
Eusèbe, 300.
Evreaux, Taurin d', 37.

Farel, Guillaume, 298.
"Félibrage," The, 204, 218.
Fénelon, 438.
Fère-Alais, Marquis de la, 251.
Fergusson, 99.
Flanders, 30.
"Fountain of Vauclause," 221.
François I., 65, 120, 124, 354.
Freeman, Professor, 95, 99.
Fréjus, 330, 335, 336.
Fréjus, St. Etienne de, 335-338.
Froissart, 417.

Gap, 296-299.
Gap, Demêtre de, 36.
Gap, Notre Dame de l'Assomption de, 296, 299.
Gard, 29.
Gard, Notre Dame de la, 346, 347.
Garonne, River, 44, 388, 389.
Gascogne, 390.
Geneva, 252.
Geraldi, Hugo, 427.
Gervais, 365.
Ghirlandajo, 133.
Glandève, 280.
Gosse, Edmund, 29.
Gothic architecture, 60-65.
Grasse, 330, 339.
Grasse, Eglise de, 339, 340.
Grasse, Felix, 24, 384.
Gregory XI., Pope, 213.
Grenoble, 28, 258-264.
Grenoble, Notre Dame de, 258-264, 531.
Guienne, 41, 389, 390.
Guienne, Eleanor of, 39.

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 159, 160, 170.
Henri IV., 353, 406, 416.
Honoré, 334.
Hôtel d'Aquitaine (Poitiers), 102.
Humbert, Archbishop, 180.
Humbert, Count, 271.

Ingres, 423, 424.
Innocent IV., 201.
Innocent VI., 225.
Issiore, 75.

Jaffa, 56.
Jalabert, 250.
James, Henry, 25.
Janvier, Thomas, 26.
Joanna of Naples, 209.
John XXII., Pope, 41, 216, 428.
Jordaens, 401.

L'Abbaye de Maillezais, 81.
Lackland, John, 40.
La Cathédrale (Poitiers), 96.
La Chaise Dieu, 62, 75.
Lac Leman, 252.
L'Eglise de la Sède Tarbes, 417-419.
"La Grande Chartreuse," 48, 162, 531.
Lake of Annecy, 252.
La Madeleine, Aix, 324.
Lamartine, 176.
Languedoc, 32, 40, 44, 390, 391.
La Rochelle, 73, 82, 83.
La Rochelle, St. Louis de, 82-84, 532.
La Trinité at Anjou, 56.
Laura, Tomb of, 33.
Lavaur, 497, 498.
Lectoure, 402.
Lectoure, Cathédrale de, 402-404.
Les Arènes, 240.
Lescar, 413.
Lescar, Notre Dame de, 413-416.
Lesdiguières, Duc de, 298.
Les Frères du Pont, 220.
Le Puy, 61, 134-136, 327.
Le Puy, Notre Dame de, 97, 134-143, 532.
Limoges, 57, 79, 80, 104, 105.
Limoges (St. Martial), 37.
Limoges, St. Etienne de, 104-111, 532.
Limousin, 71, 72.
Lodève, 246.
Lodève, St. Fulcran de, 152-155, 533.
Loire valley, 30.
Lombardy, 33.
Lombez, 496.
Lot, 44.
Loudin, Noel, 110.
Louis IV., 240.
Louis VII., 39.
Louis XI., 295.
Louis XIII., 353.
Louis XIV., 210, 224.
Louis XV., 210.
Louis Napoleon, 397.
Lozère, 28.
Luçon, 42.
Luçon, Cathédrale de, 85, 86, 533.
Lyon, 28, 177, 178, 259, 267, 273.
Lyon, St. Jean de, 177-185, 533.

Macon, St. Vincent de, 174-176.
Madet, Joseph de, 273.
Maguelonne, 353, 354.
Maillezais, 42.
Maillezais, L'Abbaye de, 81.
Maine, Henry Plantagenet of, 39.
Maison Carée, The, 240.
Mansard, 290.
Marseilles, 36, 314, 318, 342.
Marseilles, Ste. Marie-Majeure de, 318, 342-349, 534.
Maurienne, 269-271.
Maurienne, St. Jean de, 256, 269-271, 534.
Memmi, Simone (of Sienna), 211, 216.
Mende, 42, 246, 490, 492.
Mende in Lozère, 27.
Mende, St. Pierre de, 490-494, 534.
Mérimée, Prosper, 26, 30, 224.
Metz, Clement de, 36.
Midi, The, 383-395.
Midi, Canal du, 386.
Mignard, 250, 282, 290.
Mimat, Mont, 494.
Mirabeau, 46.
Mirepoix, 501.
Mirepoix, St. Maurice de, 501.
Mistral, Frederic, 163, 165, 218, 228.
Modane, 270.
Mognon, 84.
Moles, Arnaud de, 436.
Monastery of La Grande Chartreuse, 260.
Montauban, 422.
Montauban, Cathédrale de, 422-424.
Mont de la Baume, 282.
Mont Doré-le-Bains, 74.
Monte Carlo, 213.
Montfort, Simon de, 455, 459.
Montmajour, Abbey of, 230.
Montpellier, 40, 352-354.
Montpellier, St. Pierre de, 352-357, 534.
Mont St. Guillaume, 295.
Morin, Abbé, 36, 37.
Moulins, Notre Dame de, 126-133, 534.

Nadaud, Gustave, 455-457.
Naples, Joanna of, 209.
Naples, Kingdom of, 45.
Napoleon, 27, 210, 240.
Narbonne, 42, 53, 54, 241, 375, 376.
Narbonne, St. Just de, 375-379, 535.
Narbonne (St. Paul), 37.
Nero, Reign of, 36.
Neiges, Notre Dame des, 223.
Nice, St. Reparata de, 328-331.
Nîmes, 28, 33, 40, 61, 218, 228, 229, 236-242.
Nîmes, St. Castor de, 236-244, 535.
Notre Dame de l'Assomption de Gap, 296-299.
Notre Dame de Bayonne, 405-410, 525.
Notre Dame de Bourg, 277-279, 526.
Notre Dame de Clermont-Ferrand, 144-151, 530.
Notre Dame de Dié, 287, 288, 531.
Notre Dame de Doms d'Avignon, 204-220, 525.
Notre Dame d'Embrun, 292-295, 531.
Notre Dame de la Gard, 346, 347.
Notre Dame de la Grande (Poitiers), 95.
Notre Dame de Grenoble, 258-264, 531.
Notre Dame de Le Puy, 97, 134-143, 532.
Notre Dame de Lescar, 413-416.
Notre Dame de Moulins, 126-133, 534.
Notre Dame des Neiges, 223.
Notre Dame d'Orange, 197-199, 536.
Notre Dame de Rodez, 363, 474-481, 539.
Notre Dame et St. Castor d'Apt, 289-291.
Notre Dame de Vence, 300, 301, 544.
Notre Dame du Port, 57.
Noyon, 60.

Obreri, Peter, 212.
Oloron, 498, 536.
Oloron, Ste. Marie d', 498, 536.
Orange, 28, 33, 61, 225, 229.
Orange, Notre Dame d', 197-199, 536.
Orb, River, 366, 367.
Order of St. Bruno, 260, 261, 263.

Palais de Justice (Poitiers), 102.
Palais des Papes, 54, 209.
Palais du Constantin, 230.
Palissy, Bernard, 117.
Pamiers, 461.
Pamiers, Cathédrale de, 461-463, 536.
Paris, 29, 37, 46, 62, 232, 270.
Parrocel, 290.
Pascal, Blaise, 150, 151, 160.
Paschal II., 189.
Pas de Calais, 30.
Pause, Plantavit de la, 154.
Périgueux, 55-57, 61.
Périgueux, St. Front de, 56, 87-91, 97, 537.
Perpignan, 28, 368, 369, 373.
Perpignan, St. Jean de, 368-371, 537.
Petrarch, 204, 207-209, 211, 213, 221, 264.
Peyer, Roger, 242.
Philippe-Auguste, 40.
Philippe-le-Bel, 41.
Piedmont, 270.
Pierrefonds, Château at, 66.
Pius VI., 194.
Pius, Pope, 210.
Plantagenet, Henry (of Maine and Anjou), 39.
Poitiers, 42, 73, 95-97, 327.
Poitiers, Notre Dame de la Grande, 95.
Poitiers (St. Hilaire), 61.
Poitiers, St. Pierre de, 92-101, 538.
Poitou, 71-73.
Poitou, Eleanor of, 39.
Polignac, Château de, 75, 76, 135, 143.
Port Royal, 45.
Provence, 32, 62, 163-167, 313.
Provençal architecture, 54, 55, 57, 66.
Ptolemy, 159.
Puy, Bertrand du, 422.
Puy de Dôme, 29, 73, 74.
Puy, Notre Dame de la, 97, 134-143, 532.
Pyrenees, The, 393-395.

Religious movements in France, 23-48.
René, King, 323, 326.
Révoil, Henri, 348.
Rheims, 60, 62, 229.
Rheims, Sixte de, 37.
Rhône valley, 28.
Richelieu, Cardinal, 85.
Rienzi, 211.
Rieux, 497.
Riez, 280, 281.
Riom, 73.
Riviera, The, 313-320.
Rochefort, 73.
Rocher des Doms, 213.
Rodez, 29, 42, 274.
Rodez, Notre Dame de, 363, 474-481, 539.
Rouen, 60.
Rouen, Nicaise de, 37.
Rouen (St. Ouen), 52.
Rousillon, 368, 369, 372.
Rousseau, 256.
Rovère, Bishop de la, 492.
Rubens, 340.
Ruskin, 63.

St. Albans in Hertfordshire, 230.
St. André de Bordeaux, 94, 396-401, 526.
St. Ansone, 121.
St. Apollinaire de Valence, 190-194, 543.
St. Armand, 474, 481.
St. Armentaire, 339, 341.
St. Astier, Armand de, 119.
St. Aubin, 226.
St. Auspice, 289.
St. Austinde, 433, 435.
St. Austremoine, 37, 150.
St. Ayrald, 271.
St. Bénezet, 219.
St. Bénigne of Dijon, 63.
St. Benoit de Castres, 471-473, 528.
St. Bertrand de Comminges, 62, 464-468, 530.
St. Bruno, Monks of, 260-263.
St. Caprais d'Agen, 429, 431, 520.
St. Castor d'Apt, 523.
St. Castor de Nîmes, 236-244, 535.
Ste. Catherine, Church of, 303.
St. Cécile d'Albi, 363, 482-489, 522.
St. Clair, 489.
Ste. Clara de Mont Falcone, 217.
St. Claude, 272-274.
St. Claude, St. Pierre de, 272-274, 540.
St. Crescent, 37, 186, 296.
St. Demetrius, 296.
St. Denis, The bishop of, 37.
St. Denis, 51.
St. Domnin, 285.
St. Emilien, 253.
Ste. Estelle, 218.
St. Etienne, 230.
St. Etienne d'Auxerre, 407.
St. Etienne de Cahors, 425-428, 527.
St. Etienne de Chalons-sur-Saône, 170-173, 529.
St. Etienne de Fréjus, 335-338.
St. Etienne de Limoges, 104-111, 532.
St. Etienne de Toulouse, 439-448, 541.
St. Eulalie d'Elne, 372-374, 531.
St. Eustache, 268.
St. Eutrope (Saintes), 115-117.
St. Felix, 241.
St. Flour, St. Odilon de, 112-114, 540.
St. François de Sales, 253.
St. Fraterne, 280.

St. Front de Périgueux, 56, 87-91, 97, 537.
St. Fulcran de Lodève, 152-155, 533.
St. Gatien (Tours), 37.
St. Genialis, 201.
St. Georges, 137.
St. Gilles, 232.
St. Hilaire, 61, 95, 96.
St. Honorat des Alyscamps, 231.
St. Jean d'Alais, 249-251, 521.
St. Jean-Baptiste d'Aire, 469, 470, 521.
St. Jean de Bazas, 411, 412, 526.
St. Jean de Lyon, 177-185, 533.
St. Jean-de-Malte, Aix, 324.
St. Jean de Maurienne, 256, 269-271, 534.
St. Jean de Perpignan, 368-371, 537.
Ste. Jeanne de Chantal, 253.
St. Jerome de Digne, 281, 283-286.
St. Julian, 413.
St. Juste de Narbonne, 375-379, 535.
St. Lizier, 499, 540.
St. Lizier, Eglise de, 499, 500, 540.
St. Louis de La Rochelle, 82-84, 532.
St. Marcellin, 285.
St. Marc's at Venice, 56, 87-89, 346, 425.
Ste. Marie d'Auch, 432-438, 524.
Ste. Marie d'Oloron, 498, 536.
Ste. Marie Majeure de Marseilles, 318, 342-349, 534.
Ste. Marie Majeure de Toulon, 332-334, 541.
St. Mars, 287.
Ste. Marthe, 134.
St. Martial, 37, 107.
St. Martin (Tours), 61.
St. Maurice, 304.
St. Maurice d'Angers, 97.
St. Maurice de Mirepoix, 501.
St. Maurice de Vienne, 179, 184, 186-189, 193, 544.
St. Maxine, 324.
St. Michel, 142.
St. Nazaire de Beziers, 363-367, 526.
St. Nazaire de Carcassonne, 57, 319, 449-460, 527.
St. Nectaire, 73, 74, 92.
St. Odilon de St. Flour, 112-114, 540.
St. Ouen de Rouen, 52.
St. Papoul, 496, 497.
St. Paul (Narbonne), 37.
St. Paul Trois Châteaux, 305-309, 542.
St. Phérade, 430.
St. Pierre d'Alet, 350, 351, 522.
St. Pierre d'Angoulême, 73, 120-125, 523.
St. Pierre d'Annecy, 252-254, 523.
St. Pierre de Mende, 490-494, 534.
St. Pierre de Montpellier, 352-357, 534.
St. Pierre de Poitiers, 92-101, 538.
St. Pierre de Saintes, 115-117, 539.
St. Pierre de St. Claude, 272-274, 540.
St. Pons, 42.
St. Pons de Tomiers, 500, 501.
St. Pothin, 179.
St. Privat, 491, 494.
St. Prosper, 281.
St. Radegonde (Poitiers), 95-98.
St. Rémy, 235.
St. Reparata de Nice, 328-331.
St. Restuit, 305.
St. Saturnin (Toulouse), 37.
St. Sauveur d'Aix, 323-327, 521.
St. Siffrein de Carpentras, 221-225, 528.
St. Taurin, 433.
St. Théodorit d'Uzès, 245-248, 542.
St. Théodule, 303.
St. Thomas, 134.
St. Trophime, 230, 232.
St. Trophime d'Arles, 37, 202, 228-235, 524.
St. Valentin, 221.
St. Valère (Trèves), 37.
St. Venuste, 359.
St. Véran, 301.
St. Véran de Cavaillon, 200-203, 528.
St. Vincent de Macon, 174-176.
St. Vincent de Paul, Statue of, 285.
St. Virgil, 230.
Saintes, Eutrope de, 37.
Saisset, Bernard, 463.
Saône, River, 170, 174, 181.
Sarlat, 42, 500.
Sarlat, Cathédrale de, 540.
Savoie, 30, 252, 256, 271.
Scott, Sir Walter, 51, 58.
Senez, 280.
Senlis, 60.
Sens, Savinien de, 37.
Sévigné, Madame de, 392.
Sion, Cathédrale de, 302-304, 540.
Sisteron, 281.
Sterne, 126, 184.
Stevenson, R. L., 23, 30, 135, 249.
Strasbourg, 51.
Suavis, 464.
Suger, Abbot, 51.

Talleyrand-Périgord (Bishop of Autun), 46.
Tarascon, Castle at, 66.
Tarasque, The, 134.
Tarbes, 417. 418.
Tarbes, L'Eglise de la Sède, 417-419.
Tarentaise, 256, 268, 270.
Tarn, River, 422.
Thevenot, 113.
Toulon, 330, 332.
Toulon, St. Marie Majeure de, 332-334, 541.
Toulouse, 42, 439-441.
Toulouse, Musée of, 441, 447.
Toulouse, St. Etienne de, 439-448, 541.
Toulouse, St. Saturnin, 37.
"Tour Fenestrelle," 247.
Touraine, 29, 71, 72.
Tours, 29.

Tours (St. Gatien), 37.
Tours (St. Martin), 61.
Treaty of Tolentino, 210.
Trèves (St. Valère), 37.
Tricastin, 305, 306.
Trinity Church, Boston, 141, 346.
Tulle, Cathédrale de, 118, 119, 542.
Tuscany, 33.

Unigenitus, Bull, 45.
Urban, Pope, 33.
Urban II., 145, 149, 150, 191, 458.
Urban V., 354.
Uzès, 245-248.
Uzès, St. Theodorit de, 245-248, 542.

Vabres, 42, 499.
Vabres, Cathédrale de, 543.
Vaison, 226, 227.
Vaison, Cathédrale de, 226, 227, 543.
Valence, 29.
Valence, St. Apollinaire de, 190-194, 543.
Vaucluse, 208.
Vaudoyer, Léon, 348.
Vehens, Raimond de, 112.
Venasque, 222.
Vence, 300, 301.
Vence, Notre Dame de, 300, 301, 544.
Vendée, La, 72.
Veronese, Alex., 401.
Veyrie, Réne de la, 85.
Veyrier, 334.
Vic, Dominique de, 434.
Vienne, 29, 61, 229, 253, 259, 273, 296.
Vienne, St. Maurice, 179, 184, 186-189, 193, 544.
Villeneuve-les-Avignon, 213.
Villeneuve, Raimond de, 339.
Viollet-le-Duc, 88, 131, 146, 377, 442, 452, 455.
Viviers, Cathédrale de, 195, 196, 544.
Voltaire, 273.

Werner, Archbishop, 51.
Westminster Cathedral, London, 345.
William of Wykeham (England), 51.
William, Duke of Normandy, 39.
Wykeham, William of, 51.

Young, Arthur, 24, 208, 256, 273, 464.
Ypres, Bishop of, 48.

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