English Français
Help preserve sites now!

Bourges Cathedral

Bourges Cathedral

The Cathedral of St Etienne of Bourges, built between the late 12th and late 13th centuries, is one of the great masterpieces of Gothic art and is admired for its proportions and the unity of its design. The tympanum, sculptures and stained-glass windows are particularly striking. Apart from the beauty of the architecture, it attests to the power of Christianity in medieval France.

Cathédrale de Bourges

Admirable par ses proportions et l'unité de sa conception, la cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges, construite entre la fin du XIIe et la fin du XIIIe siècle, est l'un des grands chefs-d'œuvre de l'art gothique. Son tympan, ses sculptures et ses vitraux sont particulièrement remarquables. Par-delà sa beauté architecturale, elle témoigne de la puissance du christianisme dans la France médiévale.

كاتدرائية بورج

إنّ كارتدرائية القديسة إتيان المُذهلة بأحجامها وبوحدة تصوّرها التي أُشيدت بين أواخر القرن الثاني عشر ونهاية القرن الثالث عشر هي إحدى أبرز وأهمّ روائع الفن القوطيّ، إذ إنّ لوحتها الواقعة فوق جبهة البناء وتماثيلها وزخارف زجاجياتها هي في غاية من الروعة. ناهيك عن جمال هندستها، تدلّ هذه الكاتدرائية على عظمة المسيحية في فرنسا خلال القرون الوسطى.

source: UNESCO/ERI

布尔日大教堂

布尔日·圣·艾蒂安大教堂(the Cathedral of St Etienne of Bourges)建于12世纪末至13世纪末期间,是杰出的哥特式建筑杰作之一,其完美的比例和协调的设计令人称羡。教堂的门楣、雕塑和彩色玻璃窗特别引人注目。除了漂亮的建筑,教堂还表现了中世纪法国基督教的权力。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Кафедральный собор в городе Бурж

Кафедральный собор Сент-Этьенн в Бурже, построенный между концом XII в. и концом XIII в., это один из величайших шедевров готического искусства, восхищающий своими пропорциями и единством дизайна. Особенно поражают его тимпан, скульптуры и витражи. Собор не только выделяется красивой архитектурой, он также свидетельствует о силе христианства в средневековой Франции.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Catedral de Bourges

La construcción de la catedral de Saint-Etienne de Bourges se inició en las postrimerías del siglo XII y acabó a finales del siglo siguiente. Sus proporciones admirables y la unidad de su diseño hacen de ella una de las grandes obras maestras del arte gótico. Son especialmente notables el tímpano, las esculturas y los vitrales. Además de su belleza arquitectónica, esta catedral constituye un vivo testimonio de la fuerza del cristianismo en la Francia medieval.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ブールジュ大聖堂

source: NFUAJ

Kathedraal van Bourges

De kathedraal van Saint Etienne te Bourges is gebouwd tussen de late 12e en late 13e eeuw. Het is een van de grote meesterwerken van gotische kunst en wordt bewonderd om zijn verhoudingen en de eenheid van het ontwerp. De timpaan (driehoekig bovenstuk), de beeldhouwwerken en glas-in-loodramen zijn bijzonder opvallend. Naast de schoonheid van de gotische architectuur getuigt het gebouw van de kracht van het christendom in het middeleeuwse Frankrijk. De architectonische stijl die de onbekende meester-bouwer uitkoos, is gebaseerd op een ontwerp zonder transept en plastiekeffecten die in die tijd getuigden van grote moderniteit.

Source: unesco.nl

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Dutch
Bourges Cathedral © Editions Gelbart
Long Description

Bourges Cathedral is of considerable importance in the development of Gothic architecture and as a symbol of the strength of Christianity in medieval France. However, its principal claim lies in its striking beauty, combining masterly management of space with harmonious proportions and decoration of the highest quality. As the figurehead of the Capetian domain facing the south of France, the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne had to be unique in design. The architectural style chosen by the unknown master-builder is based on a plan with no transept and plastic effects of great modernity for their time. The cathedral is still surrounded by the half-timbered houses of the medieval town.

A royal city since the year 1100, Bourges has grown in size and prosperity; the new Gothic cathedral was a hymn to the authority of the Archbishops of Bourges, primates of Aquitaine.

There had been a Christian cult centre on this site since the 3rd century, when Roman Avaricum became the first Christian community in Gaul. A Romanesque basilica dedicated to St Stephen was erected there in the 11th century and other religious buildings quickly clustered around it. A small crypt from the Romanesque structure has survived beneath the present cathedral. In the 12th-century transepts and a monumental west front were added, but fires in the early 1190s necessitated complete rebuilding (contemporaneously with the main construction of Notre-Dame de Paris).

In 1195, Archbishop Henri de Sully decided to rebuild the cathedral, starting with the chevet, in the new Gothic style: work began and continued throughout the 13th century. The new cathedral was built to a simple but harmonious plan. It is basilical in form, with chapels surrounding the nave. The cathedral has a very simple plan, with double side aisles, a double ambulatory, and no transept. The perspective of the side walls and the unity of the interior space are outstanding features of the building. The architectural features of the whole edifice are already visible in the chevet: the pyramidal composition of the elevation and the audacious double flying buttresses, which are intended to create effects of perspective and harmony of volumes inside the edifice.

In 1199, Archbishop Guillaume de Dangeon, a former Cistercian abbot, succeeded Henri de Sully and played an important part in the development of the site and in the definition of the iconographical programme: the cathedral as a whole, its carved decorations and the stained-glass windows, which are the assertion of religious doctrine against heresy. The second stage of construction, including the nave and the west front, was finished around 1230; five carved portals completed the facade. The architects who succeeded the first master-builder maintained the coherence and the apparent simplicity of the programme, the absence of a transept contributing to the effect of unity of space.

In the early 13th century, stained-glass windows were added to the three levels of the choir: they represent the Christ of the Last Judgement and the Apocalypse, the Blessed Virgin and Saint Étienne are flanked by the trade guilds, parallel scenes from the New and Old Testaments, the life of the Saints and Martyrs, the Archbishops of Bourges, the Prophets and Apostles.

The tympanum of the central portal of the west facade is bears a grandiose sculptural representation of the Last Judgement that is both realistic and timeless, in which Hell swarms with demons and creatures in the torments of despair. The sculptures on the north and south doors and the Last Judgement on the west facade are notable examples of the art of the period.

Other historic buildings in the precincts are a 13th-century tithe barn, those elements of the 17th-century Bishop's Palace which survive as the Hôtel de Ville and the cathedral gardens in classical French style. The structure is essentially as it was when it was completed in the late 13th century, both in form and materials, although many elements have been replaced over the centuries, as is the case with all Gothic cathedrals.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

There has been a Christian cult centre on this site since the 3rd century AD, when Roman Avaricum became the first Christian community in Gaul. A Romanesque basilica dedicated to St Stephen was erected here in the 1 lth century and other religious buildings quickly clustered around it. A small crypt from the Romanesque structure has survived beneath the present cathedral.

In the 12th century transepts and a monumental west front were added, but fires in the early 1190s necessitated complete rebuilding (contemporaneously with the main construction of Notre-Dame de Paris). Work began in 1195 and continued throughout the 13th century.

The new cathedral was built to a simple but harmonious plan. It is basilican in form, with chapels surrounding the nave. The perspective of the side walls and the unity of the interior space are outstanding features of the building. The sculptures on the north and south doors and the Last Judgement on the west facade are notable examples of the art of the period. The stained glass is also of exceptionally high quality.

Other historic buildings in the precincts are a 13th century tithe barn, those elements of the 17th century Bishop's Palace which survive as the Hotel de Ville, and the cathedral gardens in classical French style.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation