Saint-Étienne Bourges

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The construction of Bourges cathedral began in 1195 and was finally completed and dedicated to St Stephen in 1324. With its five portals the western façade, which was completed in 1230, is the widest of any Gothic church spanning some 40 metres. The two northern portals are 16th century having been rebuilt after the northern tower collapsed, and dedicated to Saint Guillaume, and the Virgin. The central portal is known as the Tympanum of the Last Judgement which was decorated in about 1240.1 The two southern portals are dedicated to St Stephen and St Ursinus of Bourges (the portal is not shown in the image above).2

 

In addition to the western façade the portals on north and south sides of the cathedral date from about 1160. They comprise of Romanesque statues that originally adorned the pre-gothic building. The north portal is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, whilst the south portal consists of Christ in Majesty surrounded by the Evangelists, prophets and kings.3

 

The cathedral also contains a large amount of medieval stained glass. This mainly dates from between 1215-1225 in the choir clerestory and ambulatory, other windows date from the 15th to early 17th century.4