The Front Facade

nearly completed by 1118 although transept and chevet were completed by 1096

According to Quitterie and Daniel Cazes, the work on the church slowed down after 1118 and at that point only the three bays in the nave closest to the transept and some of the side aisles had been vaulted. The lower section of the front was completed, including the large double portal. However, the two towers flanking the entrance were never finished although their huge piers remain. In addition, some of the decorative features of the front were removed in the 18th or 19th centuries (6, 15).


A brick building with decorative stone details

Above the portal there are five arches with decorative stone moldings. Above them the rose window is embedded in a concave area and is unusual in that it lacks tracery. A tiny arched window sits at the topmost arc of the rose window.


Modillions on the cornice and narrow slit-like windows even with the two side aisles


Entrance with two doors--an older form since Gothic churches typically have three entrance portals


Decorative capitals with grotesque figures and foliage

Works Consulted or Quoted:
Quitterie and Daniel Cazes. Visiting Saint-Sernin's Basilica. SUD-OUEST, 1994 [Official Guide.]

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© 2008 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.