Skip to content

The Basilique Ste-Madeleine second only to Notre Dame in size

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
11/15/2012 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sacred spot guards the relics of Mary Magdalene

The Basilique Ste-Madeleine or Basilica Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Vézelay is the largest Romanesque church in France. It is only 10 yards shorter than the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Reportedly guarding the relics of St. Mary Magdalene, Vézelay was a major medieval pilgrimage destination and saw the launch of the Second and Third Crusades.

The vast majority of biblical capitals illustrate the Old Testament, with John the Baptist and the story of Lazarus and Dives being the only New Testament themes represented. But the most famous capital at Vezelay combines the two: known as the Mystic Mill, it shows Moses grinding grain, which symbolizes the Old Testament into flour - the New Testament) which Paul solemnly collects in a sack.

The vast majority of biblical capitals illustrate the Old Testament, with John the Baptist and the story of Lazarus and Dives being the only New Testament themes represented. But the most famous capital at Vezelay combines the two: known as the Mystic Mill, it shows Moses grinding grain, which symbolizes the Old Testament into flour - the New Testament) which Paul solemnly collects in a sack.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
11/15/2012 (5 years ago)

Published in Travel

Keywords: The Basilique Ste-Madeleine, Notre Dame, Mary Magdalene, Romanesque


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) The majority of the church's construction dates back to the 12th Century. The church has a Romanesque nave and Gothic choir, both full of light. The narthex is an impressive 4,000 square feet, nearly rivaling the Notre-Dame.

The church's basilica is also famed for its remarkable Romanesque sculptures that adorn the tympanums and capitals. There is also a beautiful view of Vézelay's lush valleys and rolling hills from the terrace behind the church.

An amalgamation of Romanesque, Gothic and 19th-century work, the west front is not nearly as interesting as the treasures inside. Built around 1150 in the Romanesque style, it was given a Gothic central gable and south tower in the 13th century. Restored in 1840 by Viollet-le-Duc, the builder also added a Romanesque-style tympanum of the Last Judgment to the central portal.

The spacious narthex or porch of the church contains three richly sculptured portals, dating from about 1115. The great central tympanum depicts the Mission of the Apostles, or the preaching the Good News that Christ commanded at Pentecost. In the center is a large figure of Christ seated within an almond-shaped halo. Bolts of lightning -- or either rays of light shoot out from Christ's hands and hit the apostles in the heads.

Providing a fascinating insight into the medieval worldview and popular legends of the time, the inner archivolt around the tympanum and the lintel below are populated with all the people of the world who will hear the message of Christ. These include the "Monstrous Race" of foreign lands, pictured as people with giant ears.

The pilgrims' route around the church is indicated by the majestic flowers over the north door. The north tympanum depicts the pilgrims to Emmaus and the Ascension of Christ, while the south tympanum depicts various scenes from the Nativity.

The nave, also constructed in the 12th century, is one of the oldest parts of the church. Its architecture is exceptionally attractive, with more light than most Romanesque interiors.

The measurements of the church were chosen to create a spectacular effect in the nave twice a year. Nine pools of light fall upon the center of the nave, precisely at noon on the summer solstice. This forms a path of light leading to the altar. At midday on the winter solstice, the pools of light rest on the upper capitals of the north arcade.

The vast majority of biblical capitals illustrate the Old Testament, with John the Baptist and the story of Lazarus and Dives being the only New Testament themes represented.

But the most famous capital at Vezelay combines the two: known as the Mystic Mill, it shows Moses grinding grain, which symbolizes the Old Testament into flour - the New Testament, which Paul solemnly collects in a sack.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.