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A Roman Cista.
(From the original in the York Museum.)
basilica built by Childebert, he laid the foundation of the magnificent pile which we see to-day. In 1163, the first stone of the new edifice was paced by Pope Alexander III., who having been driven from his States, had taken refuge in France. The great altar was consecrated A.d. 1182 by the Bishop Maurice, and Henri de Chateau, Marcey, Cardinal, Bishop of Albano, legate of the Holy See. A great portion of the choir was finished in 1185, and work was then commenced upon the exterior ornaments. But although much activity was employed to hasten these constructions yet Maurice de Sulley died in 1196, before having seen his great enterprise completed. His successor, Eudes de Sulley, continued the works until 1208. Ten years later, the old basilica Saint Etienne, which shaded the south side of the new structure, was torn down, and the mass of the edifice was finished in 1223; yet a still longer time was employed in completing the innumerable architectural details which were lavished here; the triple gallery of the facade, the portals, the great windows, the arabesques, indented work, colonnettes and statues, which make Notre Dame one of the most precious monuments of the power of the age. Wars, civil discord, and the lack of money frequently interrupted this immense work, which was only finished at the end of two centuries. The edifice was executed in accordance with a plan both imposing and sublime. There is a grand severity in the lines, and a simple majesty in the forms.
The grand portal which was completed in 1223, in the reign of Philip Augustus, is composed of two great square and symmetrical towers which
join the gable end of the nave. The facade by its solidity and massive strength bears some analogy to the Lombard structures. It contains three great doors with arch stones, and walls covered with very curious sculptures. In the time of Louis XII. it was necessary to mount three steps to reach the facade. In the north tower is the famous bell called le Bourdon; it is only rung on occasions of great solemnity. It weighs thirty-two thousand pounds, and the hammer weighs one thousand pounds. It was cast in 1683, and recast in 1685, and at this epoch was baptized with much pomp and ceremony. Louis XIV. and Marie Therese became its godfather and godmother, and gave it the name Emanuel Louise Therese. Along the line of the front there are twenty-seven niches, where before the Revolution there were twenty-seven statues representing the succession of Kings of France from Childebert down to Philip Augustus. Above this range of niches is a round window, called the Rose. Each lateral face of the church contains such a window, of delicate workmanship. The Rose window of the south side was constructed by the Cardinal of Noailles at his own expense, and cost eighty thousand francs. Lastly, the height of the facade is decorated with a peristyle composed of thirty-four columns, which are remarkable for their length and tenuity. Each of the columns is formed of a single stone; they support a gallery with balustrade. Two lateral portals finish the extremity of the north and south cross aisles. The north aisle was erected about 1312 by Philip the Fair, who paid for its construction with the wealth which he
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Maand. which was commenced tod maapiered by Herrera, is at die Egyptian it .jranite that exists ^obe: I s called in Spain er at :&e world, making, as each am fignrh wander, ax least the r ffrnrrng, The Escnrial at x vow made by Philip at Saonx '^«nnn. when he was x -aurca dedicated to St. lroamsed the saint that he ; -or -tie church of which he -hat should ;ie more spacious and he *ept 'us word more -ban ernes jeaerailv -la. This edifice is .n -tie 'arm 31 x gridiron, in honor of '■inr 'owers. .w square pavilions, -PTMtaeni :he "re at this '.nsrrament of torture; our nwnrrr it jmidinjj rannect die pavilions with an other, and form rtie frame wurk. while other -mas nwj represent the bars: the palace and the -morn are simareu n die handle. This strange 10nan. wiirh imst iave hampered the architect .-err rnnrh. :s not easily perceived by the eye, ait.Kiogh t s very viable upon the printed plan.
The only line employed :n the Escnrial is the ■anight line, and the only order the Done order, wmch m persons at taste in architecture is the most melancholy and poorest of any. One thing we r.h immediately strikes the tourist very disagreeably is the yeilow-clayish color of the walls, wi-.eh one would almost imagine to be built of mod. did not the joints of the stones, marked by lines of glaring white, prove that this was not the case. Nothing can be more monotonous to behold than all these buildings, six or seven stories high, without a moulding or pilaster, or a column; and with their small low windows, looking like the entrance to a beehive. The place is the very ideal of a hospital or of barracks. On the top is a heavy dwarfish cupola, which can be compared to nothing more aptly than the dome of the Val de Grace, and which boasts of no other ornaments
than a multitude of granite balls. All around, in order that nothing may be wanting to the symmetry of the whole, are a number of buildings in the same style, with a quantity of small windows, and without the least ornament. These buildings are connected with each other by galleries in the form of bridges, thrown over the streets that lead to the village. All the approaches to the edifice are paved with granite flags, and its limits marked by little walls three feet high, ornamented with the inevitable balls at every angle and every opening. The facade, which does not project in the least from the other portions of the building, fails to break the aridity of the general lines, and is hardly perlived, although it is of gigantic proportions.
The first place you enter is a vast court-yard, at_the extremity of which is the portal of a church, presenting no remarkable feature except some colossal statues of prophets with gilt ornaments and figures painted rose-color. This court-yard is flagged, damp and cold, and the angles are generally overgrown with grass.
The interior of the church is far from pleasing. Immense mouse-gray pilasters formed of granite, with a large, micaceous grain, like coarse salt, ascend to the roof, which is painted in fresco, the blue, vapory tones of which are ill-suited to the cold, poor color of the architecture. The visitor is shown the place where for fourteen years the sombre Philip H., that king born to be a grand inquisitor, used to seat himself.
Beneath the church is the Pantheon, the name given to the vault where the bodies of the kings of Spain are preserved. It is octagonal in form, thirty-six feet in diameter, and thirty-eight feet in height, directly under, the high altar; so that
when the priest is saying mass his feet are on the stone which forms the keystone of the vault. The staircase leading into it is formed of granite and colored marble, and closed by a handsome bronze
Portal Of Notrk Damk, Paris.
gate. The Pantheon is lined throughout with jasper, porphyry, and other stones no less precious. In the walls there are niches with antiqueformed cippi, destined to contain the bodies of those kings and queens who have left issue. A penetrating and deathlike coldness reigns throughout the vault, and the polished marble glitters ac