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date: 19 September 2019

Bernay Abbeylocked

  • Maylis Baylé

Extract

Former Benedictine abbey church in Normandy, France. The oldest Romanesque church in Normandy, Bernay was founded by Judith de Bretagne (d 1017) after 1008, the date of her marriage to Richard II, Duke of Normandy. Completed by the mid-11th century, it had an aisled nave of seven bays, projecting transepts with an eastern apsidal chapel on each arm, and three eastern apses; both the choir and the nave were wooden-roofed. The church (originally c. 67 m long) has been much altered: the east end, north transept, and the two westernmost nave bays have been destroyed and the north aisle was rebuilt in the 15th century. The clerestory windows were enlarged and domical vaults were inserted in the south aisle in the 17th century. Restorations were begun in 1963.

Three workshops of sculptors were active at Bernay. The first, in the lower level of the choir and east wall of the transept (...

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