Notre Dame de Mantes

Mantes-la-Jolie, France

The medieval Collegiate Church of Our Lady of Mantes is a large and historically important Catholic church constructed between c.1155 and 1350. Its grandeur, its quirky design and its strong associations with the Capetian dynasty make the church particularly interesting to architectural historians.

Construction of the present church began some time between 1155 and 1170, funded by income from the Commune and by the generous support of the Crown. Building work started with the raising and reinforcing of the ground along the north of the site, where the land slopes steeply down to the river. The design was on a grand scale but with a relatively simple plan, initially featuring neither transepts nor radiating chapels (though the latter were added later). The nave was completed up to the gallery vault level by around 1190. The high vaults were in place by around 1200 with the roof completed by 1240. The western facade was completed up to the base of the towers some time before 1225. The western towers are mainly 13th century work, except for the upper parts of the north tower, which was only completed in the late 15th century. Both towers had become dangerously unstable by the mid 19th century and were substantially rebuilt to a simpler design by the local architect Alphonse Durand. Its proximity to a strategic river crossing meant that the church was at the centre of heavy aerial bombardment following the allied invasion of France in 1944. In spite of this the church survived WWII relatively unscathed, even though most of the surrounding town was flattened.

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Details

Founded: c. 1155
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

lol Lolol (12 months ago)
Beautiful cathedral .
Victor Luca (2 years ago)
Beautiful gothic style church. I was impressed by this build. It looks gorgeous from inside and outside!
M Ache (2 years ago)
Interesting. The medieval Collegiate Church of Our Lady of Mantes, (French: Collégiale Notre-Dame de Mantes-la-Jolie), is a large and historically important Catholic church constructed between c.1155 and 1350
G Duvall (2 years ago)
Sadly it is a former shell of itself after the devastating fire last month. We were still able to view some it along the river banks. Keep checking their site, it may reopen to some limited traffic.
Paul Gillaspey (2 years ago)
You can only get within a block since the fire. Hopefully can go back someday when restored.
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