Troyes, Basilique Saint-Urbain


    Begun ca. 1260


    An compact basilica with stubby chevet terminated in three polygonal apses; a non-projecting transept and short three-bay nave. Almost a centralized church


    Two-story elevation, in the nave arcade and tall clerestory, in the short choir there is a lower band of windows resembling a triforium and an upper band of clerestory windows.


    Construction commenced under Pope Urbain II in 1160. Work progressed slowly because of the opposition of the nuns of Notre-Dame aux Nonnains. Progress continued from east to west in the last decades of 13th-century. Upper level left incomplete in Middle Ages finished only in the mid-19th-centuries.


    It is a compact church with no ambulatory and streamlined reduced plan and elevation that inspired later generations of stripped-down Gothic buildings. The articulation of the building has an astonishing spectacular play of tracery elements, attenuated forms, and the beginnings of double curved tracery. In the western most nave bay, constructed at the end of the 13th-century, we see the streamlined forms of articulation where molding go directly from arches and responds without the intervention of capitals.

    Davis, M., "On the Threshold of the Flamboyant. The Second Campaign of Construction of Saint-Urbain, Troyes," Speculum, LIX, 1984, 847-884
    -----, "Mechanics and Meaning: Plan Design at Sait-Urbain, Troyes and Saint-Ouen, Rouen, Gesta, 39, 2000, 161-182
    C. Onnen, Christine, Saint-Urbain in Troyes. Idee und Gestalt einer Päpstlichen Stiftung, Kiel, 2004