Primatiale Saint Trophime
Arles - Monument
Date: 12th and 15th centuries
Era: Middle Ages
Type: Religious architecture
Status: Property of the Town of Arles and listed as a national Historic Monument in 1840 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in1981
The Christian community of Arles was one of the first in Gaul, with the presence of a Bishop documented in 254.
Furthermore, for a while Arles Cathedral had the status of Primatial Church of the Gauls and remained the site of an Archbishopric until the Revolution. It is currently a parish church.
Originally located near the ancient rampart of L'Hauture, the cathedral was moved close to the old Roman forum around the 5th century.
It was built in several stages and the majority of the monument we see today dates from the 12th century, when its originally sombre façade was accentuated with its magnificent historiated statues.
The building is one of the largest in Romanesque Provence.
It is also a church of relics on the Way of St James. A Gothic chancel has replaced the 15th century Romanesque apses.
The monument was erected in several stages.
It has the characteristic layout of Provençal buildings: a high nave with five broken barrel vaulted bays, flanked by narrow side-aisles and a very short transept whose cross is surmounted by a cupola and supports the bell tower.
The chancel had a main apse and two absidioles.
To the west, a sumptuously decorated portal completes the layout.
Finally, a long Gothic chevet with ambulatory and radiating chapels replaced the old Romanesque chancel in the mid-15th century.
The portal, dedicated to Judgement Day, is also faithfully reproduced model and an illustration of the glories of Arles Church.
The composition superposes three main themes: the assembly of patron saints, the Divine Epic and the Human Epic, from the Fall to the future fate of the chosen ones and the damned.
The composition culminates in the solemn, triumphal image of Christ. The dominant feature of this magnificent work is the extent of its ancient inspiration; its Roman cultural heritage is a symbol of a real 'renaissance'.
Information provided by OT Arles
Primatiale Saint Trophime
Place De la République
- 04 90 96 07 38
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