In its description of Blois, the Cadogan guide to the Loire Valley says: "St Nicholas church has retained its medieval grandeur, even if it looks a bit grim in parts." I'm not sure I agree with the grim part.
When I was in Blois Saturday afternoon, it was very hot outside and the sun was shining brightly. That kind of weather takes away some of the grim feeling old stones and dark interiors can inspire.
It also makes for very strong contrasts in photos like these. I'll just let the images speak for themselves.
It certainly wasn't dark in the church, but it was refreshingly cool compared to 35ºC temperatures outside.
L'église Saint-Nicolas also features dozens of modern, highly colorful stained-glass windows that — quoting and translating a city of Blois historical web site — "create a unique atmosphere that is bathed in blue or yellow light perfect for meditation."
Ah, this is really very beautiful, and I am sure the coolness was very welcome.ReplyDelete
Both of your points are "spot on".Delete
This is really a beautiful church. It looks like it is late romanesque transitioning to the ogival style. Your photos are extremely good.ReplyDelete
One guidebook I have says exactly that: "Formerly a Benedictine abbey church, St-Nicolas was built in an interesting experimental transitional style in the early 12th century when the Gothic style was a novelty.Delete
I agree, and I can't believe I've been traveling and living in the Loire Valley for nearly 20 years without ever having seen the interior of this church before.Delete
I also think the church looks beautiful. Thanks, chm, for the use of the word ogival. I had to google it...I'm surprised I hadn't encountered it before. In art history courses I always heard groin vault. Glad to learn something new every day!ReplyDelete
I spent the last year trying to find a day when I could drive up to Blois and go inside Saint-Nicolas to take some pictures. Now I want to go back again... and I will.Delete
So glad you made it inside finally. Also glad I learned about ogival style.ReplyDelete
Grim!? It's fabulous! I guess whoever was writing the guidebook that day, had no sun, and was tired of looking at stone buildings :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for these photos, Ken!
That's a beautiful building. And I, too, am glad to learn new architectural terms.ReplyDelete
I wonder if there's any connection of the words ogival to ogee? Off to Google . . .