Through Ivan CAPECCHI
The Notre-Dame cathedral, a Strasbourg, should have owned two visits. The project has finally been abandoned towards the end of the 15th century – the beginning of the 16th century.
For what reasons ? News Strasbourg asked the question to Sabine Bengel, art historian near Foundation of the Oeuvre Notre-Dame de Strasbourg, which evokes three hypotheses.
But before that, a bit of history.
From the start, the plan to have two towers
The current Gothic cathedral of Strasbourg is based on the foundations of the Romanesque cathedral built in the 11th century who, most likely, had two towers.
From the beginning of the 13th century, after fires and various degradations, the Romanesque cathedral is Rebuilt in Gothic style which, at that time, experienced a particular boom.
“We are able to attest that, from this period, there was a project to have a facade with two towers, thanks in particular to a architectural drawing famous, made around 1270“, Explains Sabine Bengel.
The two nascent towers are finally “drawn” into the facade
From 1277, the builders are attacking the facade construction and, in the course of 14th century, “We end up with a facade whose two towers are already taking shape, on the model of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral“, Relates the specialist.
The space between these two nascent towers will finally be filled so as not to constitute only one block.
Course to greatness
Fr 1399, in a context of course to greatness, Strasbourg called on the architect who, in Ulm (Germany), was piloting the construction of the tallest tower in the world.
This architect will build the current tower until his death in 1419. Another architect goes complete the tower with his arrow, most likely fr 1439.
The project of the second tour finally abandoned
“At this time, the project of a second tower is still relevant, but it will eventually be abandoned towards the end of the 15th century, beginning of the 16th century“.
From now on, we must reason from hypotheses, because we do not know, exactly, the reason why this part of the site is abandoned.
“The most probable hypothesis would be the lack of money, since we can observe, in the second half of the 15th century, a drop in revenue from the Fondation de l’Ouvre Notre-Dame“, Comments the art historian.
Another hypothesis would be “the establishment of a less favorable climate for this type of expensive construction, related to the arrival of the Reform in Strasbourg at the beginning of the 16th century ”.
Finally, third hypothesis: the foundations would not have made it possible to bear the weight of a second round. “It is, in my opinion, the least probable hypothesis, in particular because the foundations are the same north side and south side ”, estimates Sabine Bengel.
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