Soissons, Église Saint-Jean-des-Vignes


    The monastery was founded in 1076 as part of the reform movement in Benedictine life when Hugues, seigneur of Château-Thierry returned to Bishop Thibaut de Pierrefonds church properties that he had usurped. The Foundation was confirmed by King Philip I. Initiative for the construction of the Gothic edifice came from Abbot Raoul (1197-1234). Construction work continued into the 14th and 15th centuries: the nave was begun under Abbot Michel des Boves (1344-1361); the steeples of the western frontispiece belong to the 16th century. Much of the church and monastic buildings were demolished after the Revolution: the magnificent frontispiece was saved, it is said, by the protests of the people of Soissons.


    Begun ca. 1076


    The church was a vast basilica 83m in length. The aisled nave extended for six bays; there was a transept of slight projection and a 3-bay choir terminating in a chevet plat with great rose window. There was a three-story elevation. ?


    Founded in 1076 by Hughes LeBlanc, the monastery became an Augustinian when it was reconstructed in the 13th -century. Only the western frontispiece remains from the building which dates between the c.1230's to the 16th-century. Arch forms of the west are forms of the early 14th-century with an emphasis on intense decoration and linearity. The only surviving monastic buildings are fragments of the cloister and refectory.


    Saint-Jean-de-Vignes was built at the beginning of the economic decline. Intense linearity, angularity of forms are still apparent in the fragmented remains. Topos of the building deals with its historicising elements such as the remains of the gabled portals which recall Reims, Amiens, Laon while also looking to flamboyant architecture (double curve patterns decorated niches) and also deploying new forms of especially new linearity and angularity of the buttresses represents looking forwards.

    Bonde, S., and Maines, C., L'abbaye augustinienne de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes à Soissons," Congrès archéologique de France, Aisne méridionale, 1990, Paris, 1994, 589-632
    Héliot, P., "L'ancienne église abbatiale de Saint-Jean-des-Vignes de Soissons," The Antiquarians Journal, 49, no. 1, 1979, 113-120.
    Lefèvre-Pontalis, E., "Abbaye de Saint-Jean des Vignes," Congrès archéologique, Reims, 1911, Caen, 1912, I, 348-358.