The Chatelet (dungeon) was built in front of the north external front of Belle-Chaise, on which it leans without joining, leaving between this front and the south one an empty space, a large machicolation protecting the northen door, which has become the second inward door since the Chatelet has been constructed
Independently of its formidable fronts, which can be considered as veritable fortifications, the Merveille was protected by an embattled wall joined to the ramparts.
At the same time that he finished the Knights’ Hall, Thomas des Chambres ordered the building of the Dormitory which he finished before his death, about 1225. The Dormitory is a large Hall erected above the Refectory of which it has the same general dimensions; but, instead of being, as the latter, vaulted with stones and divided into two parts, itContinue reading “The Dormitory”
The Cloister commenced by Thomas des Chambres was finished by Raoul de Villedieu, in 1228. The general form is an irregular quadrilateral figure composed of four galleries that surround the discovered yard or area of the Cloister.
The Refectory commenced by Jourdain and finished by his successor Raoul des Isles, about 1215, is unquestionably the most beautiful hall of the Merveille. It is composed of a double nave the vaults of which formed by transverse and pointed arches, adorned at their junction by a sculptured rosette, and supported by a cluster of columns like those of the Almonry. The proportions of this hall, of which gives one the idea are very well-conceived and, according to the simplicity of the details of the architecture, the general effect is very grand.
The Almonry or alms’ room, is composed of two naves. The roman plain groined vaults of a pointed form rest on a cluster of strong and thick columns the bases and the capitals of which are square. It is lighted by two small windows with deep bendings, pierced between the buttresses, two on the east and six on the north; they open out in the interior of the room and there are stone benches in the slayings.
In order to keep an exact remembrance of the Merveille, it is necessary to visit in the following order the two distinct buildings of which it is composed: from the court of the Merveille the visitor enters by the Porch and the Gate which opens at the foot of the tower of the Gorbins he will see the Almonry and theContinue reading “The Merveille”
The Romanesque chancel has entirely disappeared, and there does not exist any trace of its original form. It was probably, as we have seen in the historical notice, nearly like that of the church of Gerisy-la-Forêt, the apse of which still exists. The present chancel was built from 1450 to 1521 on the enlarged site of the Romanesque chancel,Continue reading “The Chancel”
After penetrating into the Barbican which protects the first gate and entering the Abbey by the fortified staircase under the Ghâtelet — an important point which we shall describe later on — we come to the Guard Room.
The Merveille was begun in 1203 by Jourdain XVII abbot, 1191 to 1212; he built the room of the Almonry, the Cellar, and began the Refectory above the Almonry which Raoul des Isles finished from 1212 to 1218.