Gonesse, Église Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul


    This was a rich pays with a merovingian palace at Garges-lès-Gonesse and with woollen textile production. A priory was established at Gonesse by the monks of S-Florent-de-Saumur and endowed with substantial possessions in the surrounding area; the noble family of Montmorency appears to have also provided support. The construction of the church was an ambitious project begun c 1190 perhaps with the support of King Philip Augustus who was born and baptized at Gonesse and who periodically resided there.


    Begun ca. 1200


    The eight-bay aisled nave has no western towers; the aisles are covered by quadripartite vaults. There is no transept but the transition from nave to choir is marked by flanking towers; the chevet has a single straight bay linked with a five-segment hemicycle surrounded by ambulatory and no chapels (like Notre-Dame of Paris).


    The choir has a three-story elevation: cylindrical supports, a triforium that looks like a gallery and simple lancet windows in the the clerestory. West of this the tower bay has two stories (no clerestory) with skinny double columns in the arcade and a sexpartite vault. There is a spacious gallery on the north side. In the nave there is an alternating sustem of supports (intended sexpartite vaults?) and a glazed triforium like the nave of S-Denis and S-Séverin: the clerestory and the high vault were never completed. The aisles with their quadripartite vaults have enormous buttresses, clearly intended to launch flyers which were never undertaken.


    Work began on the choir modelled upon Notre-Dame of Paris almost half a century after that prototype-- towards 1200. Funds, ample at first, appeart to have diminished sharply by the mid-thirteenth century when the nave was undertaken. Here we find signs of changes of intention, abandonment of the upper story and vaults, and references to the nave of S-Denis.

    Bottineau-Fuchs, Y., Haute-Normandie gothique, Paris, 2001, 215-221.
    Catholic Church, L'Office des Saints Gervais et Protais, martyrs, patrons de Gisors, Gisors, 1835
    Cheron, P.; Hérold, M.; Leroy, T., Gisors: église paroissiale Saint-Gervais Paint-Protais: les verrières, Rouen, 1993
    Dubreuil, G., Essai historique sur Gisors