Cl. Alain Lonchampt © CNMHS, Paris.  
Ancient Saint-Nazaire
Saint-Celse Cathedral.
View of the transept and apse.
© Cl. Alain Lonchamp © CNMHS
South transept stained glass window, depicting the Tree of Life.
 uring the reconstruction of the cathedral apse (1270 - 1320) a transept and choir with six chapels and a polygonal apse were added to the old Roman nave. Twenty two windows, including two large rose windows, replaced the walls between the slender vaulting ribs to celebrate the spirituality of light. In the apse the life of Christ is the dominant theme whereas stained glass windows depict the Tree of Jesse and the Tree of Life in two chapels on the north and south sides. Light filters through the geometric pattern of the rose windows dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Christ to be diffused on the transept crossing. A series of sculptures, a great innovation in Languedoc, completed the decorative aspect.. Twenty two statues against the columns supporting the choir and apse vaults were placed beneath canopies embellished with gables and pinnacles. The slight differences between the models and the attitudes of the figures point to three artists : the sculptor of the College of Apostles, the sculptor of the Annunciation where the strong influence of the High Gothic style is very pronounced, and the master sculptor of the Virgin and Saint Nazaire whose originality profoundly influenced Languedoc sculpture in the XIVth Century.

Cl Philippe Berthé/ © CNMHS, Paris.
Ancient Saint-Nazaire - Saint-Celse Cathedral,
view of the transept mullioned and transomed window.
North side. Drawing by Viollet-le-Duc,
Geneviève Viollet-le-Duc collection.


 The Roman Nave
 The Tomb of
 Guillaume Radulphe
 The Gothic Apse
  Ancient Saint-Nazaire
Saint-Celse Cathedral:
south transept stained
glass window, depicting
the Tree of Life.
  Cl. Alain Lonchamp © CNMHS, Paris.