History of Beauvais
Favorite thing: The town of Beauvais or “Caesaromagus” (Cesar’s market) was an important Gallo-Roman town until the middle of the 3rd Century, and is the capital of the Oise Département of Picardy.
The town dates from a time prior to the Roman conquest when Beauvais was the capital of the Gallic Belloveci tribe. When the Romans took the town, they called it Caesaromagus. The town was latter known, by the Romans, as Civitas de Bellovacis and then as Bellovacum.
- Historical Travel
Circular Window: From a Wheel to a Rose
Favorite thing: The Wheel of Life window on the North transept face of the church of St.-Etienne is the immediate ancestor of the Rose window. This one is the best antecedent of the Rose Window in Romanesque architecture. These windows in turn evolved from small simple oculi in the west faces of small dark chapels. In a short time, they acquired decorations of primitive carved stone, which became more sophisticated , first foliage and later symbols of the Evangelists (lion, eagle, bull and angel). These were often set in a square around the circle under the gable. They were “small” (under 6 feet in diameter). As stone carving progressed they were subdivided as simple crosses or Celtic ones, halos or Chi-Rho symbols. They were filled with thin translucent alabaster plates; plate glass had not yet been invented. To some, the divisions became spokes like in a wheel. In these, the spokes were easiest turned like columns and were given capitals at each end. Beyond the peripheral capitals would be arches, simple or complex. Symbolically these were indeed called wheels (remember Ezekial?). As stone carving progressed more decorated figures were added around the periphery and the whole affair could be a symbol, as it is here at St.-Etienne: a “Wheel of Fate”(or Life) illustrating the stages in the life of Man from birth to death. (Suger’s round window at St. Denis is a Wheel). Be sure to see here at St.-Etienne, that the spokes are columns and there are triple arches. Shortly at Mantes and Laon (about 1180) following Suger, stained glass was used. The twelve petals at Mantes are still separated by columns. (Columns are still used in Orvierto's Rose almost a century later). At Laon , the first window is seven rosettes. This was quickly followed in 1190 at Laon, by a much larger window and this time it is a Rose Window and was called such. (In fact the Madonna in the central glass is holding a rose in her hand). It also has the mystic 12 petals. This became the rage in the next Gothic churches.
- Family Travel
How to find the objects.
Favorite thing: I have put links to Google Map in my tips to make it easier to find the objects mentioned, when possible to get the right position. The links are marked in italics. Unfortunately Google Map isn't very precise and too often points to other buildings than the wanted one.
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