SEEING EUROPE WITH FAMOUS AUTHORS, VOLUME III
FRANCE AND THE NETHERLANDS
Selected and Edited, with Introductions, etc., by
FRANCIS W. HALSEY
Editor of "Great Epochs in American History" Associate Editor of "The World's Famous Orations" and of "The Best of the World's Classics," etc.
IN TEN VOLUMES
Introduction to Volumes III and IV
France and the Netherlands
The tourist bound for France lands either at Cherbourg, Havre, or Boulogne. At Cherbourg, he sees waters in which the "Kearsarge" sank the "Alabama"; at Havre a shelter in which, long before Caesar came to Gaul, ships, with home ports on the Seine, sought safety from the sea; and at Boulogne may recall the invading expedition to England, planned by Napoleon, but which never sailed.
From the Roman occupation, many Roman remains have survived in England, but these are far inferior in numbers and in state of preservation to the Roman remains found in France. Marseilles was not only an important Roman seaport, but its earliest foundations date perhaps from Phoenician times, and certainly do from the age when Greeks were building temples at Paestum and Girgenti. Rome got her first foothold in Marseilles as a consequence of the Punic wars; and in 125 B.C. acquired a province (Provincia Romana) reaching from the Alps to the Rhone, and southward to the sea, with Aix as its first capital and Arles its second. Caesar in 58 B.C. found on the Seine a tribe of men called Parisii, whose chief village, Lutetia, stood where now rises Notre Dame.
Lutetia afterward became a residence of Roman emperors. Constantius Chlorus spent some time there, guarding the empire from Germans and Britons, while Julian the Apostate built there for himself a palace and extensive baths, of which remains still exist in Paris. In that palace afterward lived Pepin le Bref ("mayor of the palace"), son of Charles Martell, and father of the great Charles. Romans built there an amphitheater seating ten thousand people, of which remains are still visible.
Lyons was a great Roman city. Augustus first called it into vigorous life, his wish being to make it "a second Rome." From Lyons a system of roads ran out to all parts of Gaul. Claudius was born there; Caligula made it the political and intellectual capital of Provincia; its people, under an edict of Caracalla, were made citizens of Rome. At Nimes was born the Emperor Antoninus. In Gaul, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian and Domitian were made emperors. At Arles and Nmes are Roman amphitheaters still regularly put to use for combats between men and wild beasts—but the wild beasts, instead of lions and tigers, are bulls. At Orange is a Roman theater of colossal proportions, in which a company from the Thtre Franais annually presents classical dramas. The magnificent fortress city of Carcassonne has foundation walls that were laid by Romans. Notre Dame of Paris occupies the site of a temple to Jupiter.
As with modern England, so with modern France; its people are a mixture of many races. To the southwest, in a remote age, came Iberians from Spain, to Provence, Ligurians from Italy; to the northeast, Germanic tribes; to the northwest, Scandinavians; to the central parts, from the Seine to the Garonne, in the sixth century B.C., Gauls, who soon became the dominant race, and so have remained until this day, masterful and fundamental. When Caesar came, there had grown up in Gaul a martial nobility, leaders of a warlike people, with chieftains whose names are familiar in the mouths and ears of all schoolboys—Aricvistus and Vercingetorix. When Vercingetorix was overthrown at Alesia, Gaul became definitely Roman. For five hundred years it remained loyal to Rome. Within its borders, was established the Pax Romana, and in 250 A.D., under St. Denis, Christianity. When the disintegration of the empire set in five centuries afterward, Gaul was among the first provinces to suffer. With the coming of the Visigoths and Huns from the Black Sea, the Pranks and Bnrgundians from beyond the Rhine, the Roman fall was near, but great battles were first fought in Gaul, battles which rivaled those of Caesar five centuries before. Greatest of all these was the one with Attila, at Chalons, in 451, where thousands perished.
When the Roman dominion ended, Rome's one great province in Gaul became seventeen small principalities, and power drifted fast into the hands of a warlike aristocracy. Then a strong man rose in Clovis, who, in 508, made Lutetia his capital, his successors enriching and adorning it. From these beginnings, has been evolved, in twelve hundred years, the great modern state—through Charlemagne and his empire-building, Louis XI. and his work of consolidating feudal principalities into one strong state, through a Hundred Years' War, fierce wars of religion, a long line of Bourbon kings, with their chateaux-building in Touraine and Versailles, the Revolution of 1789, the Napoleonic era, the Republic. An historical land surely is this, and a beautiful land, with her snow-capped mountains of the southeast, her broad vineyards, unrivaled cathedrals, her Roman remains, ancient olive groves, her art, her literature, her people.
Belgium and Holland were included in the territory known to Rome as Gaul. Here dwelt a people called the Belgii, and another called the Nervii—that tribal nation whom Csar "overcame" on a summer's day, and the same evening, "in his tent," "put on" the mantle that was pierced afterward by daggers in the Senate House. From these lands came the skilled Batavian cavalry, which followed Caesar in pursuit of Pompey and forced Pompey's flight at Pharsalia. From here afterward came other Batavians, who served as the Imperial Guard of Rome from Caasar's time to Vespasian's. In race, as in geographical position, the Netherlands have belonged in part to France, in part to Germany, the interior long remaining Gallic, the frontier Teutonic. From Caesar's time down to the fifth century, the land was Roman. Afterward, in several periods, it was in part, or in whole, included in the domain of France—in Charlemagne's time and after; under Louis XI., who sought, somewhat unsuccessfully, its complete submission; under Louis XIV., who virtually conquered it; under the French Revolution, and during Napoleon's ascendency. On Belgium soil Marlborough fought and won Ramillies, and Wellington Waterloo.
Belgium and Holland were for long great centers of European commerce—at Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam—rivals of English ports, Holland an ancient adversary of England and her valiant enemy in great wars. A still fiercer struggle came with Spain. Perhaps an even greater conflict than these two has been her never-ending war with the sea. Holland has been called a land enclosed in a fortress reared against the sea. For generations her people have warred with angry waves; but, as Motley has said, they gained an education for a struggle "with the still more savage despotism of man." Let me not forget here Holland's great school of art—comparable only to that of Spain, or even to that of Italy. F. W. H.
Contents of Volume III
France and the Netherlands—Part One
INTRODUCTION TO VOLS. III AND IV—By the Editor.
The City Beautiful—By Anne Warwick Notre-Dame—By Victor Hugo The Louvre—By Grant Allen The Madeline and Champs Elyses—By Nathaniel Hawthorne The Hotel des Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb—By Augustus J. C. Hare The Palais de Justice and Sainte Chapelle—By Grant Allen The Hotel de Ville and the Conciergerie—By Augustus J. C. Hare Pre la Chaise—By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The Muse de Cluny—By Grant Allen The Place de la Bastille—By Augustus J. C. Hare The Pantheon and St. Etienne du Mont—By Grant Allen St. Roch—By Augustus J. C. Hare
II—The Environs of Paris
Versailles—By William Makepeace Thackeray Versailles in 1739—By Thomas Gray Fontainebleau—By Augustus J. C. Hare St. Denis—By Grant Allen Marly-Le-Roi—By Augustus J. C. Hare The Village of Auteuil—By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The Two Trianons—By Augustus J. C. Hare Malmaison—By Augustus J. C. Hare St. Germain—By Leitch Ritchie St. Cloud—By Augustus J. C. Hare
The Papal Palace at Avignon—By Charles Dickens The Building of the Great Palace—By Thomas Okey The Walls of Avignon—By Thomas Okey Villeneuve and the Broken Bridge—By Thomas Okey Orange—By Henry James Vaucluse—By Bayard Taylor The Pont du Guard,—Aigues-Mortes—Nmes—By Henry James Arles and Les Baux—By Henry James
IV—Cathedrals and Chateaux
Amiens—By Nathaniel Hawthorne Rouen—By Thomas Frognall Dibdin Chartres—By Epiphanius Wilson Rheims—By Epiphanius Wilson
(Cathedrals and Chateaux continued in Vol. IV)
List of Illustrations
Frontispiece Paris: The Seine and Bridges
Notre Dame, Paris Portion of the Louvre, Paris Church of the Madeleine, Paris Napoleon's Sarcophagus, Paris The Burial Place of Napoleon, Paris Column and Place Vendme, Paris Column of July, Paris The Pantheon, Paris The House of the Chamber of Deputies, Paris The Bourse, Paris Interior of the Grand Opera House, Paris Front of the Grand Opera House, Paris The Arc de Triomphe, Paris Arch Erected by Napoleon Near the Louvre, Paris The Church of St. Vincent de Paul, Paris The Church of St. Sulpice, Paris The Picture Gallery of Versailles The Bed-Room of Louis XIV., Versailles The Grand Trianon at Versailles The Little Trianon at Versailles The Bed-Room of Catherine de Medici at Chaumont Marie Antoinette's Dairy at Versailles Tours Saint Denis Havre The Bridge at St. Cloud
The City Beautiful
By Anne Warwick
[Footnote: From "The Meccas of the World." By permission of the publisher, John Lane. Copyright, 1913.]
The most prejudiced will not deny that Paris is beautiful; or that there is about her streets and broad, tree-lined avenues a graciousness at once dignified and gay. Stand, as the ordinary tourist does on his first day, in the flowering square before the Louvre; in the foreground are the fountains and bright tulip-bordered paths of the Tuileries—here a glint of gold, there a soft flash of marble statuary, shining through the trees; in the center the round lake where the children sail their boats. Beyond spreads the wide sweep of the Place de la Concorde, with its obelisk of terrible significance, its larger fountains throwing brilliant jets of spray; and then the trailing, upward vista of the Champs Elyses to the great triumphal arch; yes, even to the most indifferent, Paris is beautiful.
To the subtler of appreciation, she is more than beautiful; she is impressive. For behind the studied elegance of architecture, the elaborate simplicity of garden, the carefully lavish use of sculpture and delicate spray, is visible the imagination of a race of passionate creators—the imagination, throughout, of the great artist. One meets it at every turn and corner, down dim passageways, up steep hills, across bridges, along sinuous quays; the masterhand and its "infinite capacity for taking pains." And so marvelously do its manifestations of many periods through many ages combine to enhance one another that one is convinced that the genius of Paris has been perennial; that St. Genevieve, her godmother, bestowed it as an immortal gift when the city was born.
From earliest days every man seems to have caught the spirit of the man who came before, and to have perpetuated it; by adding his own distinctive yet always harmonious contribution to the gradual development of the whole. One built a stately avenue; another erected a church at the end; a third added a garden on the other side of the church, and terraces leading up to it; a fourth and fifth cut streets that should give from the remaining two sides into other flowery squares with their fine edifices. And so from every viewpoint, and from every part of the entire city, to-day we have an unbroken series of vistas—each one different and more charming than the last.
History has lent its hand to the process, too; and romance—it is not an insipid chain of flowerbeds we have to follow, but the holy warriors of Saint Louis, the roistering braves of Henry the Great, the gallant Bourbons, the ill-starred Bonapartes. These as they passed have left their monuments; it may be only in a crumbling old chapel or ruined tower, but there they are, eloquent of days that are dead, of a spirit that lives forever staunch in the heart of the fervent French people.
It comes over one overwhelmingly sometimes, in the midst of the careless gaiety of the modern city, the old, ever-burning spirit of rebellion and savage strife that underlies it all, and that can spring to the surface now on certain memorable days, with a vehemence that is terrifying. Look across the Pont Alexandre, at the serene gold dome of the Invalides, surrounded by its sleepy barracks. Suddenly you are in the fires and awful slaughter of Napoleon's wars. The flower of France is being pitilessly cut down for the lust of one man's ambition; and when that is spent, and the wail of the widowed country pierces heaven with its desolation, a costly asylum is built for the handful of soldiers who are left—and the great Emperor has done his duty!
Or you are walking through the Cit, past the court of the Palais de Justice. You glance in, carelessly—memory rushes upon you—and the court flows with blood, "so that men waded through it, up to the knees!" In the tiny stone-walled room yonder, Marie Antoinette sits disdainfully composed before her keepers; tho her face is white with the sounds she hears, as her friends and followers are led out to swell that hideous river of blood.
A pretty, artificial city, Paris; good for shopping, and naughty amusements, now and then. History? Oh yes, of course; but all that's so dry and uninspiring, and besides it happened so long ago.
Did it? In your stroll along the Rue Royale, among the jewellers' and milliners' shops and Maxim's, glance up at the Madeleine, down at the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde. Little over a hundred years ago, this was the brief distance between life and death for those who one minute were dancing in the "Temple of Victory," the next were laying their heads upon the block of the guillotine.
By Victor Hugo
[Footnote: From Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris." Translated by A.L. Alger. By permission of Dana, Estes & Co. Copyright, 1888.]
The church of Notre-Dame at Paris is doubtless still a sublime and majestic building. But, much beauty as it may retain in its old age, it is not easy to repress a sigh, to restrain our anger, when we mark the countless defacements and mutilations to which men and time have subjected that venerable monument, without respect for Charlemagne, who laid its first stone, or Philip Augustus, who laid its last....
Upon the face of this aged queen of French cathedrals, beside every wrinkle we find a scar. "Tempus edax, homo edacior;" which I would fain translate thus: "Time is blind, but man is stupid." Had we leisure to study with the reader, one by one, the various marks of destruction graven upon the ancient church, the work of Time would be the lesser, the worse that of Men, especially of "men of art," since there are persons who have styled themselves architects during the last two centuries.
And first of all, to cite but a few glaring instances, there are assuredly few finer pages in the history of architecture than that facade where the three receding portals with their pointed arches, the carved and denticulated plinth with its twenty-eight royal niches, the huge central rose-window flanked by its two lateral windows as is the priest by his deacon and subdeacon, the lofty airy gallery of trifoliated arcades supporting a heavy platform upon its slender columns, and lastly the two dark and massive towers with their pent-house roofs of slate, harmonious parts of a magnificent whole, one above the other, five gigantic stages, unfold themselves to the eye, clearly and as a whole, with their countless details of sculpture, statuary, and carving, powerfully contributing to the calm grandeur of the whole; as it were, a vast symphony in stone; the colossal work of one man and one nation, one and yet complex, like the Iliad and the old Romance epics, to which it is akin; the tremendous sum of the joint contributions of all the force of an entire epoch, in which every stone reveals, in a hundred forms, the fancy of the workman disciplined by the genius of the artist—a sort of human creation, in brief, powerful and prolific as the Divine creation, whose double characteristics, variety and eternity, it seems to have acquired.
And what we say of the faades, we must also say of the whole church; and what we say of the cathedral church of Paris must be said of all the Christian churches of the Middle Ages. Everything is harmonious which springs from spontaneous, logical, and well-proportioned art. To measure a toe, is to measure the giant.
Let us return to the faade of Notre-Dame as we see it at the present day, when we make a pious pilgrimage to admire the solemn and mighty cathedral, which, as its chroniclers declare, inspires terror. This faade now lacks three important things: first, the eleven steps which formerly raised it above the level of the ground; next, the lower series of statues which filled the niches over the doors; and lastly, the upper row of the twenty- eight most ancient kings of France, which adorned the gallery of the first story, from Childebert down to Philip Augustus, each holding in his hand "the imperial globe."
The stairs were destroyed by Time, which, with slow and irresistible progress, raised the level of the city's soil; but while this flood-tide of the pavements of Paris swallowed one by one the eleven steps which added to the majestic height of the edifice, Time has perhaps given to the church more than it took away, for it is Time which has painted the front with that sober hue of centuries which makes the antiquity of churches their greatest beauty.
But who pulled down the two rows of statues? Who left those empty niches? Who carved that new and bastard pointed arch in the very center of the middle door? Who dared to insert that clumsy, tasteless, wooden door, carved in the style of Louis XV., side by side with the arabesques of Biscornette? Who but men, architects, the artists of our day?
And if we step into the interior of the edifice, who overthrew that colossal figure of Saint Christopher, proverbial among statues by the same right as the great hall of the palace among halls, as the spire of Strasburg among steeples? And those myriad statues which peopled every space between the columns of the choir and the nave, kneeling, standing, on horseback, men, women, children, kings, bishops, men-at-arms—of stone, of marble, of gold, of silver, of copper, nay even of wax—who brutally swept them away? It was not the hand of Time.
And who replaced the old Gothic altar, with its splendid burden of shrines and reliquaries, by that heavy marble sarcophagus adorned with clouds and cherubs, looking like a poor copy of the Val-de-Grce or the Htel des Invalides? Who was stupid enough to fasten that clumsy stone anachronism into the Carlovingian pavement of Hercandus? Was it not Louis XIV., fulfilling the vow of Louis XIII.?
And who set cold white panes in place of that stained glass of gorgeous hue, which led the wondering gaze of our fathers to roam uncertain 'twixt the rose-window of the great door and the ogives of the chancel? And what would a precentor of the sixteenth century say if he could see the fine coat of yellow wash with which our Vandal archbishops have smeared their cathedral? He would remember that this was the color with which the executioner formerly painted those buildings judged "infamous;" he would recall the hotel of the Petit-Bourbon, bedaubed with yellow in memory of the Constable's treason; "a yellow of so fine a temper," says Sauval, "and so well laid on, that more than a hundred years have failed to wash out its color." He would fancy that the sacred spot had become accursed, and would turn and flee.
And if we climb higher in the cathedral, without pausing to note a thousand barbarous acts of every kind, what has become of that delightful little steeple which rested upon the point of intersection of the transept, and which, no less fragile and no less daring than its neighbor, the spire of the Sainte-Chapelle, (also destroyed), rose yet nearer heaven than the towers, slender, sharp, sonorous, and daintily wrought?
An architect of good taste (1787) amputated it, and thought it quite enough to cover the wound with that large leaden plaster which looks like the lid of a stewpan. Thus was the marvelous art of the Middle Ages treated in almost every land, but particularly in France. We find three sorts of injury upon its ruins, these three marring it to different depths; first, Time, which has made insensible breaches here and there, mildewed and rusted the surface everywhere; then, political and religious revolutions, which, blind and fierce by nature, fell furiously upon it, rent its rich array of sculpture and carving, shivered its rose-windows, shattered its necklaces of arabesques and quaint figures, tore down its statues—sometimes because of their crown; lastly, changing fashion, even more grotesque and absurd, from the anarchic and splendid deviations of the Renaissance down to the necessary decline of architecture.
Fashion did more than revolutions. Fashion cut into the living flesh, attacked the very skeleton and framework of art; it chopped and hewed, dismembered, slew the edifice, in its form as well as in its symbolism, in its logic no less than in its beauty. But fashion restored, a thing which neither time nor revolution ever pretended to do. Fashion, on the plea of "good taste," impudently adapted to the wounds of Gothic architecture the paltry gewgaws of a day,—marble ribbons, metallic plumes, a veritable leprosy of egg-shaped moldings, of volutes, wreaths, draperies, spirals, fringes, stone flames, bronze clouds, lusty cupids, and bloated cherubs, which began to ravage the face of art in the oratory of Catherine de Medici, and destroyed it, two centuries later, tortured and distorted, in the Dubarry's boudoir.
There are thus, to sum up the points to which we have alluded, three sorts of scars now disfiguring Gothic architecture; wrinkles and warts upon the epidermis—these are the work of time; wounds, brutal injuries, bruises, and fractures—these are the work of revolution, from Luther to Mirabeau; mutilations, amputations, dislocations of the frame, "restorations,"— these are the Greek, Roman barbaric work of professors according to Vitruvius and Vignole. Academies have murdered the magnificent art which the Vandals produced. To centuries, to revolutions which at least laid waste with impartiality and grandeur, are conjoined the host of scholastic architects, licensed and sworn, degrading all they touch with the discernment and selection of bad taste, substituting the tinsel of Louis XV. for Gothic lace-work, for the greater glory of the Parthenon. This is the donkey's kick at the dying lion. It is the old oak, decaying at the crown, pierced, bitten and devoured by caterpillars.
How different from the time when Robert Cenalis, comparing Notre Dame at Paris to the famous temple of Diana at Ephesus; "so loudly boasted by the ancient pagans," which immortalized Herostratus, held the cathedral of the Gauls to be "more excellent in length, breadth, height, and structure!"
Notre Dame at Paris is not, however, what can be called a complete, definite monument, belonging to a class. It is neither a Roman nor a Gothic church. The edifice is not a typical one. It has not, like the abbey at Tournus, the sober massive breadth, the round expansive arch, the icy bareness, the majestic simplicity of those buildings based on the semicircular arch. It is not, like the cathedral at Bourges, the magnificent, airy, multiform, bushy, sturdy, efflorescent product of the pointed arch.
It is impossible to class it with that antique order of dark, mysterious, low-studded churches, apparently crusht by the semicircular arch—almost Egyptian, save for the ceiling; all hieroglyphic, all sacerdotal, all symbolic, more loaded in their ornamentation with lozenges and zigzags than with flowers, with flowers than with animals, with animals than with men; less the work of the architect than of the bishop; the first transformation of the art, bearing the deep impress of theocratic and military discipline, taking root in the Lower Empire, and ceasing with William the Conqueror. It is impossible to place our cathedral in that other family of lofty, aerial churches, rich in stained glass and sculpture; of pointed forms and daring attitudes; belonging to the commoners and plain, citizens, as political symbols; free, capricious, lawless, as works of art; the second transformation of architecture, no longer hieroglyphic, unchangeable, sacerdotal, but artistic, progressive, and popular, beginning with the close of the Crusades and ending with Louis XI. Notre Dame at Paris is not of purely Roman race like the former, nor of purely Arab breed like the latter.
It is a building of the transition period. The Saxon architect had just reared the pillars of the nave, when the pointed arch, brought back from the Crusades, planted itself as conqueror upon those broad Roman capitals which were never meant to support anything but semicircular arches. The pointed arch, thenceforth supreme, built the rest of the church. And still, inexperienced and shy at first, it swelled, it widened, it restrained itself, and dared not yet shoot up into spires and lancets, as it did later on in so many marvelous cathedrals. It seemed sensible of the close vicinity of the heavy Roman columns.
Moreover, these buildings of the transition from Roman to Gothic are no less valuable studies than the pure types. They express a gradation of the art which would otherwise be lost. They represent the ingrafting of the pointed arch upon the semicircular.
Notre Dame at Paris, in particular, is a curious example of this variety. Every face, every stone of the venerable monument is a page not only of the history of the country, but also of the history of science and art. Thus, to allude only to leading details, while the little Porte Rouge attains the almost extreme limit of the Gothic refinement of the fifteenth century, the pillars of the nave, in their size and gravity of style, go back to the Carlovingian Abbey of Saint-Germain des Prs. One would say that there was an interval of six centuries between that door and those pillars. Even the Hermetics find among the symbols of the great door a satisfactory epitome of their science, of which the Church of St. Jacques de la Boucherie formed so complete a hieroglyph.
Thus, the Roman abbey, the philosopher's church, Gothic art, Saxon art, the clumsy round pillar, which recalls Gregory VII., the hermetic symbolism by which Nicholas Flamel paved the way for Luther, papal unity, schism, Saint-Germain des Prs, Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie, are all confounded, combined and blended in Notre Dame. This central and generative church is a kind of chimera among the old churches of Paris; it has the head of one, the limbs of another, the trunk of a third, something of all.
Considering here Christian European architecture only, that younger sister of the grand piles of the Orient, we may say that it strikes the eye as a vast formation divided into three very distinct zones or layers, one resting upon the other; the Roman zone, (the same which is also known according to place, climate, and species, as Lombard, Saxon, and Byzantine. There are the four sister forms of architecture, each having its peculiar character, but all springing from the same principle, the semicircular arch,) the Gothic zone, the zone of the Renaissance, which may be called the Greco-Roman. The Roman stratum, which is the oldest and the lowest, is occupied by the semicircular arch, which reappears, together with the Greek column, in the modern and uppermost stratum of the Renaissance. The painted arch is between the two. The buildings belonging to any one of these three strata are perfectly distinct, uniform, and complete. Such are the Abbey of Jumieges, the Cathedral of Rheims, the Church of the Holy Cross at Orleans. But the three zones are blended and mingled at the edges, like the colors in the solar spectrum.
Hence, we have certain complex structures, buildings of gradation and transition, which may be Roman at the base, Gothic in the middle, and Greco-Roman at the top. This is caused by the fact that it took six hundred years to build such a fabric. This variety is rare. The donjon- keep at tampes is a specimen. But monuments of two formations are more frequent. Such is Notre-Dame at Paris, a structure of the pointed arch, its earliest columns leading directly to that Roman zone, of which the portals of Saint-Denis and the nave of Saint-Germain des Prs are perfect specimens. Such is the charming semi-Gothic chapter-house of Boucherville, where the Roman layer reaches midway. Such is the cathedral of Rouen, which would be wholly Gothic if the tip of its central spire did not dip into the zone of the Renaissance. [Footnote: This part of the spire, which was of timber, happens to be the very part which was burned by lightning in 1823.]
However, all these gradations and differences affect the surface only of an edifice. Art has but changed its skin. The construction itself of the Christian church is not affected by them. The interior arrangement, the logical order of the parts, is still the same. Whatever may be the carved and nicely-wrought exterior of a cathedral, we always find beneath it, if only in a rudimentary and dormant state, the Roman basilica. It rises forever from the ground in harmony with the same law.
There are invariably two naves intersecting each other in the form of a cross, the upper end being rounded into a chancel or choir; there are always side aisles, for the processions and for chapels, a sort of lateral galleries or walks, into which the principal nave opens by means of the spaces between the columns. This settled, the number of chapels, doors, steeples, and spires may be modified indefinitely, according to the fancy of the century, the people, and the art. The performance of divine service once provided for and assured, architecture acts its own pleasure. Statues, stained glass, rose-windows, arabesques, denticulations, capitals, and bas-reliefs,—it combines all these flowers of the fancy according to the logarithm that suits it best. Hence the immense variety in the exteriors of those structures within which dwell such unity and order. The trunk of the tree is fixt; the foliage is variable.
By Grant Allen
[Footnote: From "Paris."]
The Louvre is the noblest monument of the French Renaissance. From the time of St. Louis onward, the French kings began to live more and more in the northern suburb, the town of the merchants, which now assumed the name of La Ville, in contradistinction to the Cit and the Universit. Two of their chief residences here were the Bastille and the Htel St. Paul, both now demolished—one, on the Place so called; the other, between the Rue St. Antoine and the Quai des Clestins. But from a very early period they also possest a chteau on the site of the Louvre, and known by the same name, which guarded the point where the wall of Philippe Auguste abutted on the river. Franois I. decided to pull down this picturesque turreted medieval castle, erected by Philippe Auguste and altered by Charles V. He began the construction in its place of a magnificent Renaissance palace, which has ever since been in course of erection.
Its subsequent growth, however, is best explained opposite the building itself, where attention can be duly called to the succession of its salient features. But a visit to the exterior fabric of the Louvre should be preceded by one to St. Germain l'Auxerrois, the parish church, and practically the chapel, of the old Louvre, to which it stood in somewhat the same relation as the Ste. Chapelle to the home of St. Louis. Note, however, that the church was situated just within the ancient wall, while the chteau lay outside it. The visitor will doubtless be tolerably familiar by this time with some parts at least of the exterior of the Louvre; but he will do well to visit it now systematically, in the order here suggested, so as to gain a clear general idea of its history and meaning....
Begin by understanding distinctly that this court is the real and original Louvre; the rest is mere excresence, intended to unite the main building with the Tuileries, which lay some hundreds of yards to the west of it. Notice, first, that the Palace as a whole, seen from the point where you now stand, is constructed on the old principle of relatively blank external walls, like a castle, with an interior courtyard, on which all the apartments open, and almost all the decoration is lavished. Reminiscences of defense lurk about the Louvre. It can best be understood by comparison with such ornate, yet fortress-like, Italian palaces as the Strozzi at Florence. Notice the four opposite portals, facing the cardinal points, which can be readily shut by means of great doors; while the actual doorways of the various suites of apartments open only into the protected courtyard. This is the origin of the familiar French porte- cochre.
Again, the portion of the building that directly faces you as you enter the court from St. Germain is the oldest part, and represents the early Renaissance spirit. It is the most primitive Louvre. Note in particular the central elevated portion, known as a Pavilion, and graced with elegant Caryatides. These Pavilions are lingering reminiscences of the medieval towers. You will find them in the corners and centers of other blocks in the Louvre. They form a peculiarly French Renaissance characteristic. The Palace is here growing out of the Castle. The other three sides of the square are, on the whole, more classical and later.
Now across the square directly to the Pavilion de l'Horloge, as it is called, from the clock which adorns it. To your left, on the floor of the court, are two circular white lines, enclosed in a square. These mark the site of the original Chteau of the Louvre, with its keep, or donjon. Franois I., who began the existing building, originally intended that his palace should cover the same area. It was he who erected the left wing, which now faces you, marked by the crown and H on its central round gable, placed there by his successor, Henry II., under whom it was completed. To the same king are also due the monograms of H and D (for Diane de Poitiers, his mistress), between the columns of the ground floor. The whole of the Pavilion de l'Horloge, and of this west wing, should be carefully examined in detail as the finest remaining specimen of highly decorated French Renaissance architecture. (But the upper story of the Pavilion, with the Caryatides, is an age later.) Observe even the decoration lavished on the beautiful chimneys. Pierre Lescot was the architect of this earliest wing; the exquisite sculpture is by Jean Goujon, a Frenchman, and the Italian, Paolo Ponzio. Examine much of it. The crossed K's of certain panels stand for Catherine de Mdici.
The right wing, beyond the Pavilion, was added, in the same style, under Louis XIII., who decided to double the plan of his predecessors, and form the existing Cour du Louvre.
The other three sides, in a more classic style, with pediments replacing the Pavilions, and square porticos instead of rounded gables, are for the most part later. The south side, however, as far as the central door, is also by Pierre Lescot. It forms one of the two fronts of the original square first contemplated. The attic story of these three sides was added under Louis XIV., to whom, in the main, is due this Cour du Louvre. A considerable part of Louis XIV.'s decorations bear reference to his representation as "le roi soleil."
Now, pass through the Pavilion de l'Horloge (called on its west side Pavilion Sully) into the second of the three courts of the Louvre. To understand this portion of the building, again, you must remember that shortly after the erection of the Old Louvre, Catherine de Mdici began to build her palace of the Tuileries, now destroyed, to the west of it. She (and subsequent rulers) designed to unite the Old Louvre with the Tuileries by a gallery which should run along the bank of the river. Of that gallery, Catherine de Mdici herself erected a considerable portion, to be described later, and Henri IV., almost completed it. Later on, Napoleon I. conceived the idea of extending a similar gallery along his new Rue de Rivoli, on the north side, so as to enclose the whole space between the Louvre and the Tuileries in one gigantic double courtyard. Napoleon III. carried out his idea. The second court in which you now stand is entirely flanked by buildings of this epoch—the Second Empire. Examine it cursorily as far as the modern statue of Gambetta.
Stand or take a seat by the railing of the garden opposite the Pavilion Sully. The part that now faces you forms a portion of the building of Franois I, and Louis XIII., redecorated in part by Napoleon I. The portions to your right and left are entirely of the age of Napoleon III., built so as to conceal the want of parallelism of the outer portions. Observe their characteristic Pavilions, each bearing its own name inscribed upon it. This recent square, tho quite modern in the character of its sculpture and decoration, is Renaissance in its general architecture, and, when looked back upon from the gardens of the Tuileries, affords a most excellent idea of that stately style, as developed in France under Franois I. The whole of this splendid plan, however, has been rendered futile by the destruction of the Tuileries, without which the enclosure becomes wholly meaningless.
Now, continue westward, pass the Monument of Gambetta, and take a seat on the steps at the base, near the fine figure of Truth. In front of you opens the third square of the Louvre, known as the Place du Carrousel, and formerly enclosed on its west side by the Palace of the Tuileries, which was unfortunately burned down in 1871, during the conflict between the Municipal and National authorities. Its place is now occupied by a garden terrace, the view from which in all directions is magnificent. Fronting you, as you sit, is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, erected under Napoleon I., by Percier and Fontaine, in imitation of the Arch of Septimius Severus at Rome, and once crowned by the famous bronze Roman horses from St. Mark's at Venice. The arch, designed as an approach to the Tuileries during the period of the classical mania, is too small for its present surroundings, since the removal of the Palace. The north wing, visible to your right, is purely modern, of the age of the First and Second Empire and the Third Republic. The meretricious character of the reliefs in its extreme west portion, erected under the Emperor Napoleon III., and restored after the Commune, is redolent of the spirit of that gaudy period. The south wing, to your left, forms part of the connecting gallery erected by Henri IV., but its architecture is largely obscured by considerable alterations under Napoleon III. Its west pavilion-known as the Pavilion de Flore—is well worth notice.
Having thus gained a first idea of the courtyard fronts of the building, continue your walk, still westward, along the south wing as far as the Pavilion de Flore, a remaining portion of the corner edifice which ran into one line with the Palace of the Tuileries. Turn round the corner of the Pavilion to examine the south or river front of the connecting gallery—one of the finest parts of the whole building, but far less known to ordinary visitors than the cold and uninteresting northern line along the Rue de Rivoli. The first portion, as far as the gateways, belongs originally to the age of Henry IV., but it was entirely reconstructed under Napoleon III., whose obtrusive N appears in many places on the gateways and elsewhere.
Nevertheless, it still preserves, on the whole, some reminiscence of its graceful Renaissance architecture. Beyond the main gateway (with modern bronze Charioteer of the Sun), flanked by the Pavilions de la Trmoille and de Lesdiguires, we come upon the long Southern Gallery erected by Catherine de Mdici, which still preserves almost intact its splendid early French Renaissance decoration. This is one of the noblest portions of the entire building. The N here gives place to H's, and the Renaissance scroll-work and reliefs almost equal those in that portion of the old Louvre which was erected under Franois I. Sit on a seat on the Quay and examine the sculpture.
Notice particularly the splendid Porte Jean Goujon, conspicuous from afar by its gilded balcony. Its crowned H's and coats-of-arms are specially interesting examples of the decorative work of the period. Note also the skill with which this almost flat range is relieved by sculpture and decoration so as to make us oblivious of the want of that variety usually given by jutting portions. The end of this long gallery is formed by two handsome windows with balconies. We there come to the connecting Galrie d'Apollon, of which these windows are the termination, and finally reach once more a portion of Perrault's faade, with its double LL's, erected under Louis XIV., and closely resembling the interior faade of the Cour du Louvre....
The Collections in the Louvre have no such necessary organic connection with Paris itself as Notre Dame and the Sainte-Chapelle, or even those in the rooms at Cluny. They may, therefore, be examined by the visitor at any period of his visit that he chooses. I would advise him, however, whenever he takes them up, to begin with the paintings and then to go on to the Classical and Renaissance Sculpture. The last-named, at least, he should only examine in connection with the rest of Renaissance Paris. Also, while it is unimportant whether he takes first Painting or Sculpture, it is very doubtful that he should take each separately in the chronological order.
At least six days—far more, if possible—should be devoted to the Louvre Collections—by far the most important objects to be seen in Paris. Of these, four should be assigned to the Paintings, and one each to the Classical and Renaissance Sculpture. If this is impossible, do not try to see all; see a little thoroughly. Confine yourself, for Painting, to the Salon Carr and Gallery VII., and for Sculpture to the Classical Gallery and to the three Western rooms of the Renaissance collection.
The Madeleine and Champs Elyses
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
[Footnote From "French and Italian Note-Books." By special arrangement with, and by permission of, the publishers of Hawthorne's works, Houghton, Mifflin Co. Copyright, 1871, 1883, 1899.]
Approaching the Madeleine, we found it a most beautiful church, that might have been adapted from Heathenism to Catholicism; for on each side there is a range of magnificent pillars, unequalled, except by those of the Parthenon. A mourning coach, arrayed in black and silver, was drawn up at the steps, and the front of the church was hung with black cloth, which covered the whole entrance. However, seeing the people going in, we entered along with them. Glorious and gorgeous is the Madeleine. The entrance to the nave is beneath a most stately arch; and three arches of equal height open from the nave to the side aisles; and at the end of the nave is another great arch, rising, with a vaulted half-dome, over the high altar. The pillars supporting these arches are Corinthian, with richly sculptured capitals; and wherever gilding might adorn the church, it is lavished like sunshine; and within the sweeps of the arches there are fresco paintings of sacred subjects, and a beautiful picture covers the hollow of the vault over the altar; all this, besides much sculpture; and especially a group above and around the high altar, representing the Magdalen smiling down upon angels and archangels, some of whom are kneeling, and shadowing themselves with their heavy marble wings.
There is no such thing as making my page glow with the most distant idea of the magnificence of this church, in its details and in its whole. It was founded a hundred or two hundred years ago; then Bonaparte contemplated transforming it into a Temple of Victory, or building it anew as one. The restored Bourbon remade it into a church; but it still has a heathenish look, and will never lose it.
When we entered we saw a crowd of people, all pressing forward toward the high altar, before which burned a hundred wax lights, some of which were six or seven feet high; and, altogether, they shone like a galaxy of stars. In the middle of the nave, moreover, there was another galaxy of wax candles burning around an immense pall of black velvet, embroidered with silver, which seemed to cover, not only a coffin, but a sarcophagus, or something still more huge.
The organ was rumbling forth a deep, lugubrious bass, accompanied with heavy chanting of priests, out of which sometimes rose the clear, young voices of choristers, like light flashing out of the gloom. The church, between the arches, along the nave, and round the altar, was hung with broad expanses of black cloth; and all the priests had their sacred vestments covered with black. They looked exceedingly well; I never saw anything half so well got up on the stage. Some of these ecclesiastical figures were very stately and noble, and knelt and bowed, and bore aloft the cross, and swung the censers in a way that I liked to see.
The ceremonies of the Catholic Church were a superb work of art, or perhaps a true growth of man's religious nature; and so long as men felt their original meaning, they must have been full of awe and glory. Being of another parish, I looked on coldly, but not irreverently, and was glad to see the funeral service so well performed, and very glad when it was over. What struck me as singular, the person who performed the part usually performed by a verger, keeping order among the audience, wore a gold-embroidered scarf, a cocked hat, and, I believe, a sword, and had the air of a military man....
When we left the Madeleine we took our way to the Place de la Concorde, and thence through the Elysian Fields (which, I suppose, are the French idea of heaven) to Bonaparte's triumphal arch. The Champs Elyses may look pretty in summer; tho I suspect they must be somewhat dry and artificial at whatever season.—the trees being slender and scraggy, and requiring to be renewed every few years. The soil is not genial to them. The strangest peculiarity of this place, however, to eyes fresh from moist and verdant England, is, that there is not one blade of grass in all the Elysian Fields, nothing but hard clay, now covered with white dust. It gives the whole scene the air of being a contrivance of man, in which Nature has either not been invited to take any part, or has declined to do so.
There were merry-go-rounds, wooden horses, and other provision for children's amusements among the trees; and booths, and tables of cakes, and candy-women; and restaurants on the borders of the wood; but very few people there; and doubtless we can form no idea of what the scene might become when alive with French gayety and vivacity.
As we walked onward the Triumphal Arch began to loom up in the distance, looking huge and massive, tho still a long way off. It was not, however, till we stood almost beneath it that we really felt the grandeur of this great arch, including so large a space of the blue sky in its airy sweep. At a distance, it impresses the spectator with its solidity; nearer, with the lofty vacancy beneath it. There is a spiral staircase within one of its immense limbs; and, climbing steadily upward, lighted by a lantern which the door-keeper's wife gave us, we had a bird's eye view of Paris, much obscured by smoke or mist. Several interminable avenues shoot with painful directness right toward it.
On our way homeward we visited the Place Vendme, in the center of which is a tall column, sculptured from top to bottom, all over the pedestal, and all over the shaft, and with Napoleon himself on the summit. The shaft is wreathed round and round about with representations of what, as far as I could distinguish, seemed to be the Emperor's victories. It has a very rich effect. At the foot of the column we saw wreaths of artificial flowers, suspended there, no doubt, by some admirer of Napoleon, still ardent enough to expend a franc or two in this way.
The Htel des Invalides and Napoleon's Tomb
By Augustus J. C. Hare
[Footnote: From "Walks In Paris." By arrangement with the publisher, David McKay. Copyright, 1880.]
We emerge from the Rue de Grenelle opposite the gardens to the north of the magnificent Htel des Invalides, planned by Henri IV., and begun by Louis XIV. in 1671, as a refuge for old soldiers, who, before it was built, had to beg their bread on the streets.
The institution is under the management of the Minister of War, and nothing can be more comfortable than the life of its inmates. The number of these is now small; in the time of Napoleon I., when the institution was called the "Temple of Mars," it was enormous.
On the terrace in front of the building are a number of cannon, trophies taken in different campaigns. Standing before the hotel is the statue of Prince Eugne. On either side of the entrance are statues of Mars and Minerva by Coustou the younger. In the tympanum of the semicircle over the center of the faade is Louis XIV. on horseback. Behind the faade is a vast courtyard surrounded by open corridors lined with frescoes of the history of France; those of the early history on the left by Bndict Masson, 1865, have much interest. In the center of the faade opposite the entrance is the statue of Napoleon I. Beneath this is the approach to the Church of St. Louis, built 1671-79, from designs of Libral Bruant, and in which many banners of victory give an effect of color to an otherwise colorless building....
The Tomb of Napoleon, under the magnificent dome of the Invalides, which was added to the original church by Jules Hardouin Mansart, and is treated as a separate building, is entered from the Place Vauban at the back, or by the left cloister and a court beyond.
On entering the vast interior, a huge circular space is seen to open, beneath the cupola painted by Charles de Lafosse and Jouvenet, and, in it, surrounded by caryatides and groups of moldering banners, the huge tomb of Finland granite, given by the Emperor Nicholas. Hither the remains of the great Emperor were brought back from St. Helena by the Prince de Joinville, in 1841, tho Louis Philippe, while adopting this popular measure as regarded the dead, renewed the sentence of exile against the living members of the Bonaparte family.
Four smaller cupolas encircle the great dome. In the first, on the right, is the tomb of Joseph Bonaparte. On the left are the tombs of Jerome Bonaparte, with a statue, and of his eldest son and the Princess Catherine of Wurtemberg. The other two cupolas are still empty.
Descending the steps behind the splendid baldacchino, we find black-marble tombs of Marshals Duroc and Bertrand guarding the approach to that of Napoleon I. His own words, taken from his will, appear in large letters over the entrance: "I desire my ashes to lie on the shores of the Seine among the people of France whom I loved so deeply."
The sentiment, the tomb, and the dome have a unique splendor. A white- marble statue of Napoleon I. by Stuart is in a black-marble chapel. His Austerlitz sword, the crown voted by Cherbourg, and colors taken in his different battles, were formerly shown in a "chapelle ardente."
The Palais de Justice and the Sainte Chapelle
By Grant Allen
[Footnote: From "Paris."]
Go along the Rue de Rivoli as far as the Square of the Tour St. Jacques. If driving, alight here. Turn down the Place du Chtelet to your right. In front is the pretty modern fountain of the Chtelet; right, the Thtre du Chtelet; left, the Opra Comique. The bridge which faces you is the Pont- au-Change, so-called from the money-changers' and jewelers' booths which once flanked its wooden predecessor (the oldest in Paris), as they still do the Rialto at Venice, and the Ponte Vecchio at Florence.
Stand by the right-hand corner of the bridge before crossing it. In front is the Ile de la Cit. The square, dome-crowned building opposite you to the left is the modern Tribunal de Commerce; beyond it leftward lie the March-aux-Fleurs and the long line of the Htel-Dieu, above which rise the towers and spire of Notre Dame. In front, to the right, the vast block of buildings broken by towers forms part of the Palais de Justice, the ancient Palace of the French kings, begun by Hugh Capet. The square tower to the left in this block is the Tour de l'Horloge. Next, to the right, come the two round towers of the Conciergerie, known respectively as the Tour de Csar and the Tour de Montgomery. The one beyond them, with battlements, is the Tour d'Argent. It was in the Conciergerie that Marie Antoinette, Robespierre, and many other victims of the Revolution were imprisoned.
These medieval towers, much altered and modernized, are now almost all that remains of the old Palace, which, till after the reign of Louis IX. (St. Louis), formed the residence of the Kings of France. Charles VII. gave it in 1431 to the Parlement or Supreme Court. Ruined by fires and re-building, it now consists for the most part of masses of irregular recent edifices. The main modern faade fronts the Boulevard du Palais.
Cross the bridge. The Tour de l'Horloge on your right, at the corner of the Boulevard du Palais, contains the oldest public clock in France (1370). The figures of Justice and Pity by its side were originally designed by Germain Pilon, but are now replaced by copies. Walk round the Palais by the quay along the north branch of the Seine till you come to the Rue de Harlay. Turn there to your left, toward the handsome and imposing modern faade of this side of the Palais de Justice. The interior is unworthy a visit. The Rue de Harlay forms the westernmost end of the original Ile de la Cit. The prow-shaped extremity of the modern island has been artificially produced by embanking the sites of two or three minor islets. The Palace Dauphine, which occupies the greater part of this modern extension, was built in 1608; it still affords a characteristic example of the domestic Paris of the period before Baron Haussmann.
Continue along the quay as far as the Pont-Neuf, so as to gain an idea of the extent of the Ile de la Cit in this direction. The center of the Pont-Neuf is occupied by an equestrian statue of Henri IV., first of the Bourbon kings. Its predecessor was erected in 1635, and was destroyed to make cannon during the great Revolution. Louis XVIII. re-erected it. From this point you can gain a clear idea of the two branches of the Seine as they unite at the lower end of the Ile de la Cit. To your right, looking westward, you also obtain a fine view of the Colonnade of the Old Louvre, with the southwestern gallery, and the more modern buildings of the Museum behind it.
Now, walk along the southern quay of the island, round the remainder of the Palais de Justice, as far as the Boulevard du Palais. There turn to your left, and go in at the first door of the Palace on the left (undeterred by sentries) into the court of the Sainte Chapelle, the only important relic now remaining of the home of Saint Louis. You may safely neglect the remainder of the building.
The thirteenth century was a period of profound religious enthusiasm throughout Europe. Conspicuous among its devout soldiers was Louis IX., afterward canonized as St. Louis. The saintly king purchased from Baldwin, Emperor of Constantinople, the veritable Crown of Thorns, and a fragment of the True Cross—paying for these relics an immense sum of money. Having become possest of such invaluable and sacred objects, Louis desired to have them housed with suitable magnificence. He therefore entrusted Pierre de Montereau with the task of building a splendid chapel (within the precincts of his palace), begun in 1245, and finished three years later, immediately after which the king set out on his Crusade. The monument breathes throughout the ecstatic piety of the mystic king; it was consecrated in 1248, in the name of the Holy Crown and the Holy Cross, by Eudes de Chteauroux, Bishop of Tusculum and papal legate.
Three things should be noted about the Sainte Chapelle. (1) It is a chapel, not a church; therefore it consists (practically) of a choir alone, without nave or transepts. (2) It is the domestic Chapel of the Royal Palace. (3) It is, above all things, the Shrine of the Crown of Thorns. These three points must be constantly borne in mind in examining the building.
Erected later than Notre-Dame, it represents the pointed style of the middle of the thirteenth century, and is singularly pure and uniform throughout. Secularized at the Revolution, it fell somewhat into decay; but was judiciously restored by Viollet-le-Duc and others. The "Messe Rouge," or "Messe du St. Esprit," is still celebrated here once yearly, on the re-opening of the courts after the autumn vacation, but no other religious services take place in the building. The Crown of Thorns and the piece of the True Cross are now preserved in the Treasury at Notre Dame.
Examine the exterior in detail from the court on the south side. More even than most Gothic buildings, the Sainte Chapelle is supported entirely by its massive piers, the wall being merely used for enclosure, and consisting for the most part of lofty windows. As in most French Gothic buildings, the choir terminates in a round apse, whereas English cathedrals have usually a square end. The beautiful light flche or spire in the center has been restored. Observe the graceful leaden angel, holding a cross, on the summit of the chevet or round apse. To see the facade, stand well back opposite it, where you can observe that the chapel is built in four main stories—those, namely, of the Lower Church or crypt, of the Upper Church, of the great rose window (with later flamboyant tracery), and of the gable-end, partially masked by an open parapet studded with the royal fleurs-de-lis of France. The Crown of Thorns surrounds the two pinnacles which flank the fourth story.
The chapel consists of a lower and an upper church. The Lower Church is a mere crypt, which was employed for the servants of the royal family. Its portal has in its tympanum (or triangular space in the summit of the arch) the Coronation of the Virgin, and on its center pillar a good figure of the Madonna and Child. Enter the Lower Church. It is low, and has pillars supporting the floor above. In the polychromatic decoration of the walls and pillars, notice the frequent repetition of the royal lilies of France, combined with the three castles of Castille, in honor of Blanche of Castille, the Mother of St. Louis.
Mount to the Upper Chapel (or Sainte Chapelle proper) by the small spiral staircase in the corner. This soaring pile was the oratory where the royal family and court attended service; its gorgeousness bespeaks its origin and nature. It glows like a jewel. First go out of the door and examine the exterior and doorway of the chapel. Its platform was directly approached in early times from the Palace. The center pillar bears a fine figure of Christ. In the tympanum (as over the principal doorway of almost every important church in Paris and in the district) is a relief of the Last Judgment. Below stands St. Michael with his scales, weighing the souls; on either side is depicted the Resurrection, with the Angels of the Last Trump. Above, in the second tier, is Christ, holding up His hands with the marks of the nails, as a sign of mercy to the redeemed: to right and left of Him angels display the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross, to contain which sacred relics the chapel was built.
On the extreme left kneels the Blessed Virgin; on the extreme right, Sainte Genevive. This scene of the Last Judgment was adapted with a few alterations from that above the central west door of Notre Dame, the Crown of Thorns in particular being here significantly substituted for the three nails and spear. The small lozenge reliefs to right and left of the portal are also interesting. Those to the left represent in a very nave manner God the Father creating the world, sun and moon, light, plants, animals, man, etc. Those to the right give the story of Genesis, Cain and Abel, the Flood, the Ark, Noah's Sacrifice, Noah's Vine, etc., the subjects of all which the visitor can easily recognize, and is strongly recommended to identify for himself.
The interior consists almost entirely of large and lofty windows, with magnificent stained glass, in large part ancient. The piers which divide the windows and alone support the graceful vault of the roof, are provided with statues of the twelve apostles, a few of them original. Each bears his well-known symbol. Spell them out if possible. Beneath the windows, in the quatrefoils of the arcade, are enamelled glass mosaics representing the martyrdoms of the saints—followers of Christ, each wearing his own crown of thorns: a pretty conceit wholly in accord with St. Louis's ecstatic type of piety. Conspicuous among them are St. Denis carrying his head, St. Sebastian pierced with arrows, St. Stephen stoned, St. Lawrence on his gridiron, etc. The apse (formerly separated from the body of the building by a rood-screen, now destroyed), contains the vacant base of the high altar, behind which stands an arcaded tabernacle, now empty, in whose shrine were once preserved the Crown of Thorns, the fragment of the True Cross, and other relics.
Among them in the later times was included the skull of St. Louis himself in a golden reliquary. Two angels at the summit of the large center arch of the arcade bear a representation of the Crown of Thorns in their hands. Above the tabernacle rises a canopy or baldacchino, approached by two spiral staircases; from its platform St. Louis and his successors, the kings of France, were in the habit of exhibiting with their own hands the actual relics themselves once a year to the faithful. The golden reliquary in which the sacred objects were contained was melted down in the Revolution. The small window with bars to your right, as you face the high altar, was placed there by the superstitious and timid Louis XI., in order that he might behold the elevation of the Host and the sacred relics without being exposed to the danger of assassination. The visitor should also notice the inlaid stone pavement, with its frequent repetition of the fleur-de-lis and the three castles. The whole breathes the mysticism of St. Louis; the lightness of the architecture, the height of the apparently unsupported roof, and the magnificence of the decoration, render this the most perfect ecclesiastical building in Paris.
In returning from the chapel, notice on the outside, from the court to the south, the apparently empty and useless porch, supporting a small room, which is the one through whose grated window Louis XI. used to watch the elevation.
The Hotel de Ville and the Conciergerie
By Augustus J. C. Hare
[Footnote: From "Walks In Paris." By arrangement with the publisher, David McKay. Copyright, 1880.]
It was Etienne Marcel, Mayor of Paris, who first established the municipal council at the Place de Grve, at that time the only large square in Paris. In July, 1357, he purchased as a Hostel de Ville the Maison aux Piliers, which had been inhabited by Clmence d'Hongrie, widow of Louis le Hutin, and which afterward took the name of Maison du Dauphin from her nephew and heir, Guy, Dauphin de Viennois.
In 1532 a new Htel de Ville was begun and finished by the architect Marin de la Valle in the reign of Henri IV. This was so much altered by successive restorations and revolutions that only a staircase, two monumental chimney-pieces in the Salle du Trne, and some sculptured doorways and other details remained from the interior decorations in the old building at the time of its destruction.
Till the time of Louis XVI. the history of the Htel de Ville was entirely local; after that it became the history of France. It was there that Louis XVI. received the tri-colored cockade from Bailly, Mayor of Paris, July 17, 1789; and there, in the chamber called, from its hangings, Le Cabinet Vert, that Robespierre was arrested, in the name of the Convention, during one of the meetings of the Commune, July 27, 1794. After the fall of Robespierre it was seriously proposed to pull down the Htel de Ville, because it had been his last asylum—"Le Louvre de Robespierre." It was only saved by the common-sense of Leonard Bourdon.
But most of all, in the popular recollection, is the Htel de Ville connected with public ftes—with those on the second marriage of Napoleon I. (1810), on the entry of Louis XVIII. (1814), on the coronation of Charles X. (1825), on the marriage of the Duke of Orleans (1837), on the visits of different foreign potentates to Napoleon III. Here also was the Republic proclaimed, September 4, 1870.
It was in one of the windows of the Htel de Ville that Louis Philippe embraced Lafayette (August, 1830) in sight of the people, to evince the union of the July monarchy with the bourgeoisie. On the steps of the building Louis Blanc proclaimed the Republic, February 24,1848. From September 4, 1870, to February 28, 1871, the htel was the seat of the "government of the national defense," and from March 19 to May 22, 1871, that of the pretended "Committee of public safety" of the Communists. On May 24 it was burned by its savage defenders, many of whom happily perished in the flames.
The Place de l'Htel de Ville is so modernized that it retains nothing of the Place de Grve but its terrible historic associations. Among the many fearful executions here, it is only necessary to recall that of Jean Hardi, torn to pieces by four horses (March 30, 1473) on an accusation of trying to poison Louis XI.; that of the Comte de St. Pol (December 19, 1475), long commemorated by a pillar; those of a long list of Protestants, opened by the auto-de-f of Jacques de Povanes, student of the University, in 1525; that of Nicholas de Salcde, Sieur d'Auvillers, torn to pieces by four horses in the presence of the king and queens, for conspiracy to murder the Duc d'Anjou, youngest son of Catherine de Medici. More terrible still was the execution of Ravaillac (May 27, 1610) murderer of Henri IV.
"The executioner cut off his hand with an ax, and threw it and the murderous knife into the fire. His breasts, his arms and his legs were torn with pincers, and boiling oil and melted lead poured into the open wounds. He was then dismembered by four strong horses, which pulled for no less than an entire hour. They dismembered only a corpse. He expired," says L'Estoile, "at the second or third pull." When the executioner had to throw the limbs into the fire that the ashes, according to the sentence, might be flung to the winds, the whole crowd rushed on to claim them. "But," adds the same chronicler, "the people rushed on so impetuously that every mother's son had a piece, even the children, who made fires of them at the corners of the streets."
After the capture of the Bastille its brave governor, M. de Launay, was beheaded on the steps of the Htel de Ville, and his major, M. de Losme- Salbray, was massacred under the Arcade St. Jean. These were the first victims of the Revolution. Foulon, Intendant du Commerce, suffered here soon afterward, hung from the cords by which a lamp was suspended, whence the expression, which soon resounded in many a popular refrain, of "put the aristocrats to the lantern."
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Two parasite buildings, the Conciergerie, and the Prefecture of Police, are now annexed to the Palais de Justice. The Conciergerie takes its name from the house of the concierge in the time of the royal residence here, who had a right to two chickens a day and to the cinders and ashes of the king's chimney.
It has always been a prison, and it was here that the Comte d'Armagnac was murdered, June 12, 1418. Here was made, below the level of the Seine, the prison called La Souricire, from the rats which had the reputation of eating the prisoners alive. The present Conciergerie occupies the lower story of the right wing of the existing Palais de Justice, and extends along the Quai de l'Horloge, as far as the towers of Montgomery and Csar. It has an entrance on the quay, before which the guillotine-carts received the victims of the Reign of Terror, and another to the right of the great staircase in the Cour d'Honneur.
All other associations of the Conciergerie are lost in those which were attached to it by the great Revolution. The cell in which Marie Antoinette suffered her seventy-five days' agony—from August 2 till October 15, when she was condemned—was turned into a chapel of expiation in 1816. The lamp still exists which lighted the august prisoner and enabled her guards to watch her through the night. The door still exists, tho changed in position, which was cut transversely in half and the upper part fixt that the queen might be forced to bend in going out, because she had said that whatever indignities they might inflict upon her they could never force her to bend the head.
After her condemnation, Marie Antoinette was not brought back to this chamber. It was a far more miserable cell which saw her write her last touching farewell to Madame Elizabeth. But this was the room in which the Girondins spent their last night, when, as Riouffe, himself in the prison at the time, says, "all during this frightful night their songs sounded and if they stopt singing it was but to talk about their country." The adjoining cell, now used as a sacristy, was the prison of Robespierre.
Pre la Chaise
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
[Footnote: From "Outre Mer." Published by Houghton, Mifflin Co.]
The cemetery of Pre la Chaise is the Westminster Abbey of Paris. Both are the dwellings of the dead; but in one they repose in green alleys and beneath the open sky—in the other their resting-place is in the shadowy aisle, and beneath the dim arches of an ancient abbey. One is a temple of nature; the other a temple of art. In one, the soft melancholy of the scene is rendered still more touching by the warble of birds and the shade of trees, and the grave receives the gentle visit of the sunshine and the shower; in the other, no sound but the passing footfall breaks the silence of the place; the twilight steals in through high and dusky windows; and the damps of the gloomy vault lie heavy on the heart, and leave their stain upon the moldering tracery of the tomb.
Pre la Chaise stands just beyond the Barrire d'Aulney, on a hill-side, looking toward the city. Numerous gravel-walks, winding through shady avenues and between marble monuments, lead up from the principal entrance to a chapel on the summit. There is hardly a grave that has not its little inclosure planted with shrubbery; and a thick mass of foliage half conceals each funeral stone. The sighing of the wind, as the branches rise and fall upon it,—the occasional note of a bird among the trees, and the shifting of light and shade upon the tombs beneath, have a soothing effect upon the mind; and I doubt whether any one can enter that inclosure, where repose the dust and ashes of so many great and good men, without feeling the religion of the place steal over him, and seeing something of the dark and gloomy expression pass off from the stern countenance of death.
It was near the close of a bright summer afternoon that I visited this celebrated spot for the first time. The object that arrested my attention, on entering, was a monument in the form of a small Gothic chapel, which stands near the entrance, in the avenue leading to the right hand. On the marble couch within are stretched two figures, carved in stone and drest in the antique garb of the Middle Ages. It is the tomb of Ablard and Hlose. The history of these unfortunate lovers is too well known to need recapitulation; but perhaps it is not so well known how often their ashes were disturbed in the slumber of the grave. Ablard died in the monastery of Saint Marcel, and was buried in the vaults of the church. His body was afterward removed to the convent of the Paraclet, at the request of Hlose, and at her death her body was deposited in the same tomb. Three centuries they reposed together; after which they were separated to different sides of the church, to calm the delicate scruples of the lady- abbess of the convent. More than a century afterward, they were again united in the same tomb; and when at length the Paraclet was destroyed, their moldering remains were transported to the church of Nogent-sur- Seine. They were next deposited in an ancient cloister at Paris; and now repose near the gateway of the cemetery of Pre la Chaise. What a singular destiny was theirs! that, after a life of such passionate and disastrous love,—such sorrows, and tears, and penitence—their very dust should not be suffered to rest quietly in the grave!—that their death should so much resemble their life in its changes and vicissitudes, its partings and its meetings, its inquietudes and its persecutions!—that mistaken zeal should follow them down to the very tomb—as if earthly passion could glimmer, like a funeral lamp, amid the damps of the charnel-house, and "even in their ashes bum their wonted fires!"....
Leaving this interesting tomb behind me, I took a pathway to the left, which conducted me up the hill-side. I soon found myself in the deep shade of heavy foliage, where the branches of the yew and willow mingled, interwoven with the tendrils and blossoms of the honeysuckle. I now stood in the most populous part of this city of tombs. Every step awakened a new train of thrilling recollections; for at every step my eye caught the name of some one whose glory had exalted the character of his native land, and resounded across the waters of the Atlantic. Philosophers, historians, musicians, warriors, and poets slept side by side around me; some beneath the gorgeous monument, and some beneath the simple headstone. But the political intrigue, the dream of science, the historical research, the ravishing harmony of sound, the tried courage, the inspiration of the lyre—where are they? With the living, and not with the dead! The right hand has lost its cunning in the grave; but the soul, whose high volitions it obeyed, still lives to reproduce itself in ages yet to come.
Among these graves of genius I observed here and there a splendid monument, which had been raised by the pride of family over the dust of men who could lay no claim either to the gratitude or remembrances of posterity. Their presence seemed like an intrusion into the sanctuary of genius. What had wealth to do there? Why should it crowd the dust of the great? That was no thoroughfare of business—no mart of gain! There were no costly banquets there; no silken garments, nor gaudy liveries, nor obsequious attendants!....
I continued my walk through the numerous winding paths, as chance or curiosity directed me. Now I was lost in a little green hollow, overhung with thick-leaved shrubbery, and then came out upon an elevation, from which, through an opening in the trees, the eye caught glimpses of the city, and the little esplanade, at the foot of the hill, where the poor lie buried. There poverty hires its grave, and takes but a short lease of the narrow house. At the end of a few months, or at most of a few years, the tenant is dislodged to give place to another, and he in turn to a third. "Who," says Sir Thomas Browne, "knows the fate of his bones, or how often he is to be buried? Who hath the oracle of his ashes, or whither they are to be scattered?"
Yet, even in that neglected corner, the hand of affection had been busy in decorating the hired house. Most of the graves were surrounded with a slight wooden paling, to secure them from the passing footstep; there was hardly one so deserted as not to be marked with its little wooden cross, and decorated with a garland of flowers; and here and there I could perceive a solitary mourner, clothed in black, stooping to plant a shrub on the grave, or sitting in motionless sorrow beside it....
After rambling leisurely about for some time, reading the iscriptions on the various monuments which attracted my curiosity, and giving way to the different reflections they suggested, I sat down to rest myself on a sunken tombstone. A winding gravel-walk, overshaded by an avenue of trees, and lined on both sides with richly sculptured monuments, had gradually conducted me to the summit of the hill, upon whose slope the cemetery stands. Beneath me in the distance, and dim-discovered through the misty and smoky atmosphere of evening, rose the countless roofs and spires of the city. Beyond, throwing his level rays athwart the dusky landscape, sank the broad red sun. The distant murmur of the city rose upon my ear; and the toll of the evening bell came up, mingled with the rattle of the paved street and the confused sounds of labor. What an hour for meditation! What a contrast between the metropolis of the living and the metropolis of the dead!....
Before I left the graveyard the shades of evening had fallen, and the objects around me grown dim and indistinct. As I passed the gateway, I turned to take a parting look. I could distinguish only the chapel on the summit of the hill, and here and there a lofty obelisk of snow-white marble, rising from the black and heavy mass of foliage around, and pointing upward to the gleam of the departed sun, that still lingered in the sky, and mingled with the soft starlight of a summer evening.
The Muse de Cluny
By Grant Allen
[Footnote: From "Paris."]
The primitive nucleus of the suburb on the South Side consists of the Roman fortress palace, the "tte du pont" of the Left Bank, now known as the Thermes, owing to the fact that its principal existing remains include only the ruins of the bath or therma. This colossal building, probably erected by Constantius Chlorus, the father of Constantine, covered an enormous area south of the river. After the Frankish conquest, it still remained the residence of the Merwing and Karling kings on the rare occasions when they visited Paris; and it does not seem to have fallen into utter decay till a comparatively late date in the Middle Ages.
With the Norman irruptions, however, and the rise of the real French monarchs under Eudes and the Capets, the new sovereigns found it safest to transfer their seat to the Palace on the Island (now the Palais de Justice), and the Roman fortress was gradually dismantled. In 1340 the gigantic ruins came into the hands of the powerful Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, near Mcon, in Burgundy; and about 1480, the abbots began to erect on the spot a town mansion for themselves, which still bears the name of the Htel de Cluny. The letter K, the mark of Charles VIII. (1483-1498), occurs on many parts of the existing building, and fixes its epoch. The house was mostly built by Jaques d'Amboise, abbot, in 1490. The style is late Gothic, with Renaissance features.
The abbots, however, seldom visited Paris, and they frequently placed their town house accordingly at the disposition of the kings of France. Mary of England, sister of Henry VIII., and widow of Louis XII., occupied it thus in 1515, soon after its completion. It was usual for the queens of France to wear white as mourning; hence her apartment is still known as the "Chambre de la reine blanche."
At the Revolution, when the property of the monasteries was confiscated, the Htel de Cluny was sold, and passed at last, in 1833, into the hands of M. du Sommerard, a zealous antiquary, who began the priceless collection of works of art which it contains. He died in 1842, and the Government then bought the house and museum, and united it with the Roman ruin at its back under the title of Muse des Thermes et de l'Htel de Cluny. Since that time many further objects have been added to the collection.
At Cluny the actual building forms one of the most interesting parts of the sight, and is in itself a museum. It is a charming specimen of a late medieval French mansion; and the works of art it contains are of the highest artistic value.... At least two whole days should be devoted to Cluny—one to the lower and one to the upper floor. Much more, if possible.
The Place de la Bastille
By Augustus J. C. Hare
[Footnote: From "Walks in Paris." By arrangement with the publisher, David McKay. Copyright, 1880.]
The south end of the Rue des Tournelles falls into the Place de la Bastille, containing Le Colonne de Juillet, surmounted by a statue of Liberty, and erected 1831-1840. This marks the site of the famous castle- prison of the Bastille, which for four centuries and a half terrified Paris, and which has left a name to the quarter it frowned upon. Hugues Ambriot, Mayor of Paris, built it under Charles V. to defend the suburb which contained the royal palace of St. Paul. Unpopular from the excess of his devotion to his royal master, Aubriot was the first prisoner in his own prison.
Perhaps the most celebrated of the long list of after captives were the Conntable de St. Pol and Jacques d'Armagnac, Due de Nemours, taken thence for execution to the Place de Grve under Louis XI., Charles de Gontaut, Due de Biron, executed within the walls of the fortress under Henri IV., and the "Man with the Iron Mask," brought hither mysteriously, September 18, 1698, and who died in the Bastille, November 19, 1703.
A thousand engravings show us the Bastille as it was—as a "fort-bastide" —built on the line of the city walls just to the south of the Porte St. Antoine, surrounded by its own moat. It consisted of eight round towers, each bearing a characteristic name, connected by massive walls, ten feet thick, pierced with narrow slits by which the cells were lighted. In the early times it had entrances on three sides, but after 1580 only one, with a drawbridge over the moat on the side toward the river, which led to outer courts and a second drawbridge, and wound by a defended passage to an outer entrance opposite the Rue des Tournelles.
Close beside the Bastille, to the north, rose the Porte St. Antoine, approached over the city fosse by its own bridge, at the outer end of which was a triumphal arch built on the return of Henri II. from Poland in 1573. Both gate and arch were restored for the triumphal entry of Louis XIV. in 1667; but the gate (before which Etienne Marcel was killed, July, 1358), was pulled down in 1674.
The Bastille was taken by the people, July 14, 1789, and the National Assembly decreed its demolition.... The massive circular pedestal upon which the Colonne de Juillet now rests was intended by Napoleon I. to support a gigantic fountain in the form of an elephant, instead of the column which, after the destruction of the Bastille, the "tiers tat" of Paris had asked to erect " Louis XVI., restaurateur de la libert publique." It is characteristic of the Parisians that on the very same spot the throne of Louis Philippe was publicly burned, February 24, 1848. The model for the intended elephant existed here till the middle of the reign of Louis Philippe, and is depicted by Victor Hugo as the lodging of "Le petit Gavroche."
The Panthon and St. Etienne-Du-Mont
By Grant Allen
[Footnote: From "Paris."]
The medieval church of Ste. Genevive, having fallen into decay in the middle of the eighteenth century, Louis XV. determined to replace it by a sumptuous domed edifice in the style of the period. This building, designed by Soufflot, was not completed till the Revolution, when it was immediately secularized as the Panthon, under circumstances to be mentioned later. The remains of Ste. Genevive, which had lain temporarily meanwhile in a sumptuous chapel of St. tienne-du-Mont (the subsidiary church of the monastery) were taken out by the Revolutionists; the medieval shrine, or reliquary (which replaced St. loy's), was ruthlessly broken up; and the body of the patroness and preserver of Paris was publicly burned in the Place de Grve.
This, however, strange to say, was not quite the end of Ste. Genevive. A few of her relics were said to have been preserved: some bones, together with a lock of the holy shepherdess's hair, were afterward recovered, and replaced in the sarcophagus they had once occupied. Such at least is the official story; and these relics, now once more enclosed in a costly shrine, still attract thousands of votaries to the chapel of the saint in St. tienne-du-Mont.
The Panthon, standing in front of the original church, is now a secular burial-place for the great men of France. The remains of Ste. Genevive still repose at St. tienne. Thus it is impossible to dissociate the two buildings, which should be visited together; and thus too it happens that the patroness of Paris has now no church in her own city. Local saints are always the most important; this hill and Montmartre are still the holiest places in Paris.
Proceed, as far as the garden of the Thermes, as on the excursion to Cluny. Then continue straight up the Boulevard St. Michel. The large edifice visible on the right of the Rue des coles to your left, is the new building of the Sorbonne, or University. Further up, at the Place du Sorbonne, the domed church of the same name stands before you. It is the University church, and is noticeable as the earliest true dome erected in Paris. The next corner shows one, right, the Luxembourg garden, and left, the Rue Soufflot, leading up to the Panthon.
The colossal domed temple which replaces the ancient church of Ste. Genevive was begun by Soufflot, under Louis XV., in imitation of St. Peter's, at Rome. Like all architects of his time, Soufflot sought merely to produce an effect of pagan or "classical" grandeur, peculiarly out of place in the shrine of the shepherdess of Nanterre. Secularized almost immediately on its completion, during the Revolution, the building was destined as the national monument to the great men of France, and the inscription, "Aux Grands Hommes la Patrie Reconnaissante," which it still bears, was then first placed under the sculptures of the pediment.
Restored to worship by the Restoration, it was again secularized under the Third Republic in order to admit the burial of Victor Hugo. The building itself, a vast bare barn of the pseudo-classical type, very cold and formal, is worthy of notice merely on account of its immense size and its historic position; but it may be visited to this day with pleasure, not only for some noble modern paintings, but also for the sake of the reminiscences of Ste. Genevive which it still contains. The tympanum has a group by David d'Angers, representing France distributing wreaths to soldiers, politicians, men of letters, men of science, and artists.
The interior is in the shape of a Greek cross (with equal arms). Follow round the walls, beginning from the right. In the right aisle are paintings (modern) looking like frescoes, and representing the preaching of St. Denis, by Galand; and the history of Ste. Genevive—her childhood, recognition by St. Germain l'Auxerrois, miracles, etc., delicate and elusive works, by Puvis de Chavannes. The paintings of the South Transept represent episodes in the early history of France. Chronologically speaking, they begin from the east central corner. Choir, Death of Ste. Genevive, and Miracles before her Shrine, by Laurens. Apse of the tribune, fine modern (archaic) mosaic, by Hbert, representing Christ with the Guardian Angel of France, the Madonna, Jean d'Arc, and Ste. Genevive. Stand under the dome to observe the proportions of the huge, bare, unimpressive building. Left, or Northern Transept, east side, the history of Jeanne d'Arc; she hears the voices; leads the assault at Orleans; assists at the coronation of Charles VII. at Rheims; and is burned at Rouen. West side, St. Louis as a child instructed by Blanche of Castille; administering justice in the Palace; and a captive among the Saracens. North aisle, history of Ste. Genevive and St. Denis. The building is thus at once the apotheosis of patriotism, and the lasting memorial of the part borne by Christianity in French, and especially Parisian, history.
As you descend the steps of the Panthon, the building that faces you to the left is the Mairie of the 5th Arrondissement; that to the right, the cole de Droit. Turn to the right along the north side of the Panthon. The long, low building which faces you is the Bibliotheque Ste. Genevive. Nothing now remains of the Abbey of Ste. Genevive except the tall early Gothic tower seen to the right near the end of the Panthon, and rising above the modern buildings of the Lyce Henri IV. The singularly picturesque and strangely-mingled church across the little square is St. tienne-du-Mont, which we now proceed to visit.
Stand in the left-hand corner of the Place to examine the facade. The church was begun (1517) as late Gothic; but before it was finished, the Renaissance style had come into fashion, and the architects accordingly jumbled the two in the most charming manner. The incongruity here only adds to the beauty. The quaintly original Renaissance portal bears a dedication to St. Stephen the Protomartyr, beneath which is a relief of his martyrdom, with a Latin inscription, "Stone destroyed the temple of the Lord," i.e., Stephen, "Stone rebuilds it." Right and left of the portal are statues of Sts. Stephen and Genevive, whose monograms also appear on the doors. In the pediment is the usual representation of the Resurrection and Last Judgment. Above it, the rose window, on either side of which, in accordance with Italian rather than with French custom (showing Italian Renaissance influence) are the Angel of the Annunciation and the Madonna receiving his message. In the third story, a gable-end. Singular tower to the left, with an additional round turret, a relic of the earlier Gothic building. The whole faade (17th century) represents rather late Renaissance than transitional architecture.
The interior is the most singular, and in some ways the most picturesque, in Paris—a Gothic church, tricked out in Renaissance finery. The nave is flanked by aisles, which are divided from it by round pillars, capped by a singular balustrade or gallery with low, flat arches, simulating a triforium. The upper arches are round, and the decorations Renaissance; but the vaulting, both of nave and aisles, with its pendant keystones, recalls the Gothic style, as do also most of the windows. Stand near the entrance, in the center of the nave, and look up the church.
The most striking feature is the beautiful Renaissance jub or rood-loft (the only one now left in Paris) which divides the Choir from the body of the building. This rood-loft still bears a crucifix, for the reception of which it was originally intended. On the arch below are two charmingly sculptured Renaissance angels. The rood-loft is flanked by two spiral staircases, which are wholly unique architectural features. Notice also the exquisite pendentive of the roof at the point of intersection of the nave and short false transepts.
Now walk up the right aisle. The first chapel is the Baptistery, containing the font and a modern statue of the boy Baptist. Third chapel, St. Antony of Padua. The fourth chapel contains a curious Holy Sepulcher, with quaint life-size terra-cotta figures of the 16th century. Fifth chapel, a gilt chsse. Notice the transepts, reduced to short arms, scarcely, if at all, projecting beyond the chapels. From this point examine the exquisite Renaissance tracery of the rood-screen and staircases. Then pass under the fine Renaissance door, with lovely decorative work, into the ambulatory. The Choir is in large part Gothic, with late flamboyant tracery. The apparent triforium is continued round the ambulatory.
The splendid gilded shrine in the second choir-chapel contains the remains of Ste. Genevive, or what is left of them. Candles burn perpetually around it. Hundreds of votaries here pay their devotions daily to the Patroness of Paris. The shrine, containing what is alleged to be the original sarcophagus of the Saint (more probably of the 13th century) stands under a richly-gilt Gothic tabernacle, adorned with figures legibly named on their pedestals. The stained-glass window behind it has a representation of a processional function with the body of the Saint, showing this church, together with a view of the original church of Ste. Genevive, the remaining tower, and adjacent houses, historically most interesting. The window beyond the shrine also contains the history of Ste. Genevive—her childhood, first communion, miracles, distribution of bread during the siege of Paris, conversion of Clovis, death, etc.