France’s Picardy Region, the Heartland of Cathedrals and Gothic Architecture


Soissons Cathedral, standing as the largest cathedral in Europe; and the Cathedral of St-Pierre de Beauvais with the world’s highest vault in a cathedral — 48 meters.

Picardy, just north of Paris, is the birthplace of Gothic architecture — the location of six of the world’s greatest examples of Gothic cathedrals.

The cities of Amiens, Beauvais, and Soissons are located in the Picardy.

The full name of the Soissons Cathedral is The Cathédrale Saint-Gervais-et-Saint-Protais de Soissons. The construction of the south transept was begun about 1177. A transept is a transverse or perpendicular section of the building that makes a cross-shape of the building.

The Beauvais Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Peter (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Beauvais). The vaulting in the interior is about 48 meters. Major repair and restoration was underway in 2008. The cathedral was begun in 1247, and work was interrupted in 1284 by the collapse of the vaulting of the choir. The transept was constructed from 1500 to 1548. There is an astronomical clock in the cathedral. The city experienced a transition of architecture from Romanesque to Gothic — characterized by a transition from semi-circular arches to pointed arches..

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