Sens Cathedral - Description

Description

Sens was a place of considerable importance in the 12th century, seat of the "Primate of Gaul" and superior to the bishopric of Paris. The cathedral church was therefore built on a large scale according to the latest principles. Sens' nave is unusually wide, and the church is larger in overall scale than its contemporaries at Saint Denis, Noyon or Senlis. As is typical with early gothic architecture, the vaulting is sexpartite, surmounting a modest clerestory, with alternating piers and columns between bays. Sens may have been the first church to be completely vaulted in this manner. A gallery opens into the roof space between the aisle arcade and the clerestory. The interior elevation resembles that of Le Mans, but with less massive walls. Flying buttresses were originally employed on the outside, but were replaced with new ones in the thirteenth century. Sens did not initially have transepts; these were only completed in the late 13th and early 14th centuries in the late Gothic rayonnant style.

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