An effigy is a representation of a specific person in the form of sculpture or some other three-dimensional medium. The use of the term is restricted to certain contexts in a somewhat arbitrary way: recumbent effigies on tombs are so called, but standing statues of individuals, or busts, are not. Likenesses of religious figures in sculpture are not called effigies. Effigies are common elements of funerary art as a recumbent effigy in stone or metal placed on a tomb, or a less permanent "funeral effigy", placed on the coffin in a grand funeral, wearing real clothing. Figures caricatural in style, that are damaged, destroyed or paraded in order to harm the person represented by magical means, or to mock or insult them or their memory, are called effigies, it is common to burn an effigy of a person as an act of protest. The word is first documented in English in 1539 and comes via French, from the Latin effigies, meaning "representation"; this spelling was used in English for singular senses: a single image was "the effigies of...".
In effigie was understood as a Latin phrase until the 18th century. The word occurs in Shakespeare's As You Like It of 1600, where scansion suggests that the second syllable is to be emphasized, as in the Latin pronunciation; the best known British example of a caricature effigy is the figure of the 1605 Gunpowder Plotter Guy Fawkes, found in charge of gunpowder to blow up the King in the House of Lords. On November 5, Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night, his effigy made of straw and old clothing, is still traditionally burned on a bonfire in many villages accompanied by fireworks. In many parts of the world, there are traditions of large caricature effigies of political or other figures carried on floats in parades at festivals. Political effigies serve a broadly similar purpose in political demonstrations and annual community rituals such as that held in Lewes, on the south coast of England. In Lewes, models of important or unpopular figures in current affairs are burned on Guy Fawkes Night alongside an effigy of the Pope.
Caricature effigies, in Greek skiachtro, are still in use to prevent birds from eating mature fruit grapes. In Oriental Orthodox and Latin American Christianity, populace used to burn an effigy of Judas, just before Easter. Now it is considered an obsolete custom and there are no attempts at revival. In South and Latin American Christianity, populace still burn or explode an effigy of Judas, just before Easter or on New Year's Eve; the display of temporary or permanent effigies in wood or wax sculpture and other media of the deceased was a common part of the funeral ceremonies of important people over a long stretch of European history. They were shown lying on the coffin at the funeral, often displayed beside or over the tomb; the figures were dressed in the clothes of the deceased. The museum of Westminster Abbey has a collection of English royal wax effigies reaching to Edward III of England, as well as those of figures such as the prime minister Pitt the Elder, the naval hero Horatio Nelson, Frances Stewart, Duchess of Richmond, at her own request and expense, who had her parrot stuffed and displayed.
From the time of the funeral of Charles II in 1680, effigies were no longer placed on the coffin but were still made for display. The effigy of Charles II was displayed over his tomb until the early 19th century, when all effigies were removed from the abbey. Nelson's effigy was a tourist attraction, commissioned the year after his death and his burial in St Paul's Cathedral in 1805; the government had decided that major public figures with State funerals should in future be buried at St Paul's. Concerned for their revenue from visitors, the Abbey decided it needed a rival attraction for admirers of Nelson. In the field of numismatics, effigy has been used to describe the central image or portrait on the obverse of a coin. A practice evident in reference literature of the 19th century, the obverse of a coin was said to depict “the ruler’s effigy”; the appearance and style of effigy used varies according to the preference of the monarch or ruler being depicted - for example, such as George VI of the United Kingdom have preferred to be shown uncrowned, while others have favoured highly-formal representations.
It can be the case that the monarch's reign becomes long enough to merit issuing a succession of effigies so that their appearance continues to be current. Such has been the case for Queen Victoria and Elizabeth II, depicted by five different effigies on British coins and three different effigies on British postage stamps since she ascended to the throne in 1953. In the past, criminals sentenced to death in absentia might be executed "in effigy" as a symbolic act. In southern India, effigies of the demon-king Ravana from the epic poem the Ramayana are traditionally burnt during the festival of Navrati; the term gisant is associated with the full-length effigies of a deceased person depicted in stone or wood on church monuments. These lie with hands together in prayer. An Effigie of a deceased person, kneeling in prayer is called a priant. Effigies may be demi-figures and the term is used to refer to busts; the Marzanna ritual represents the end of the dark days of winter, the victory over death, the welcoming of the spring rebirth.
A tomb effigy a recumbent effigy or in French gisant is a sculpted figure on a tomb monument depicting in effigy the deceased. Such compositions, developed in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, continuing into Renaissance, early modern times, still sometimes used, they represent the deceased in a state of "eternal repose", lying with hands folded in prayer and awaiting resurrection. A husband and wife may be depicted lying side by side. An important official or leader may be shown holding his attributes of office or dressed in the formal attire of his official status or social class; the life-size recumbent effigy was first found in the tombs of royalty and senior clerics, spread to the nobility. A particular type of late medieval effigy was the transi, or cadaver tomb, in which the effigy is in the macabre form of a decomposing corpse, or such a figure lies on a lower level, beneath a more conventional effigy. In the same period small figures of mourners called weepers or pleurants were added below the effigy to important tombs.
In the Early Modern period European effigies are shown as alive, either kneeling or in a more active pose for military figures. During the Renaissance, other non-recumbent types of effigy became more popular. Variations showed the deceased lying on their side as if reading, kneeling in prayer and standing; the recumbent effigy had something of a vogue during the Gothic revival period of the 19th century for bishops and other clerics. Many graves at Monument Cemetery in Milan have recumbent figures; some of the best-known examples of the form are in Westminster Abbey in London, Saint Peter's in Rome, Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence. A celebrated poem describing and reflecting on a stone effigy is An Arundel Tomb by Philip Larkin. Recumbent effigies were a common tradition in Etruscan funerary art, examples are known in both ceramic and stone; the deceased was depicted alive as at a feast, lying sideways, propped up on one arm and sometimes holding a cup. These were rather smaller than life-size.
The Romans continued this tradition, though they created many other types of funerary effigy. Their faces are clearly portraits of individuals; the first medieval gisants emerged in the 12th century. They were executed in low relief, were horizontal, but appeared as in life; the faces were generalized rather than portraits. These became full high-relief effigies recumbent, as in death, and, by the 14th century, with hands together in prayer. In general, such monumental effigies were carved in stone, marble or wood, or cast in bronze or brass; the stone effigies were painted to simulate life, but in the majority of the medieval monuments, this has long since disappeared. The cross-legged attitude of many English armoured figures of the late 13th or early 14th centuries was long supposed to imply that the deceased had served in the Crusades, had taken crusading vows, or more had been a Knight Templar. By the early 13th century, effigies began to be raised on tomb-style chests decorated with foliage, heraldry or architectural detailing.
Soon such chests stood alone with varying degrees of decoration. By the end of the century, these had architectural canopies and figured "weepers" or "mourners" — representing friends or relatives and identified by their coats of arms — were popular decorative features. In Britain the "large-scale production of military effigies" began in the middle of the 13th century, as the result of the "emergence of a new patron class" of knights, who were fewer in number but wealthier than before. Another late medieval fashion was to show the person in an advanced state of decomposition as a secondary effigy; this type of tomb is known as a transi. In Spain the iconography of Christ lying, as though an effigy, was popular until the late 18th century. One of the famous sculptors known for this iconography was Gregorio Fernández, see Cristo Yacente of El Pardo. A late example of a stone effigy is that of T. E. Lawrence by Eric Kennington, in St Martin's Church, Dorset, installed in 1939. Another example is the effigy of Aubrey Herbert in the Church of Brushford in Somerset.
Stone, Sculpture in Britain: The Middle Ages, 1972, Penguin Books Tummers, H. A. Early Secular Effigies in England: The Thirteenth Century, 1980, Brill Archive, ISBN 9004062556, 9789004062559, google books
Winchester Cathedral is a cathedral of the Church of England in Winchester, England. It is one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the greatest overall length of any Gothic cathedral. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, before the Reformation, Saint Swithun, it is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester and centre of the Diocese of Winchester; the cathedral is a Grade I listed building. The cathedral was founded in 642 on a site to the north of the present one; this building became known as the Old Minster. It became part of a monastic settlement in 971. Saint Swithun was buried near the Old Minster and in it, before being moved to the new Norman cathedral. So-called mortuary chests said to contain the remains of Saxon kings such as King Eadwig of England, first buried in the Old Minster, his wife Ælfgifu, are in the present cathedral; the Old Minster was demolished in 1093 after the consecration of its successor. In 1079, Bishop of Winchester, began work on a new cathedral.
Much of the limestone used to build the structure was brought across from quarries around Binstead, Isle of Wight. Nearby Quarr Abbey draws its name from these workings, as do several nearby places such as Stonelands and Stonepitts; the remains of the Roman trackway used to transport the blocks are still evident across the fairways of the Ryde Golf Club, where the stone was hauled from the quarries to the hythe at the mouth of Binstead Creek, thence by barge across the Solent and up to Winchester. The building was consecrated in 1093. On 8 April of that year, according to the Annals of Winchester, "in the presence of all the bishops and abbots of England, the monks came with the highest exultation and glory from the old minster to the new one: on the Feast of S. Swithun they went in procession from the new minster to the old one and brought thence S. Swithun's shrine and placed it with honour in the new buildings, on the following day Walkelin's men first began to pull down the old minster."A substantial amount of the fabric of Walkelin's building, including crypt and the basic structure of the nave, survives.
The original crossing tower, collapsed in 1107, an accident blamed by the cathedral's medieval chroniclers on the burial of the dissolute William Rufus beneath it in 1100. Its replacement, which survives today, is still with round-headed windows, it is a squat, square structure, 50 feet wide, but rising only 35 feet above the ridge of the transept roof. The Tower is 150 feet tall. After the consecration of Godfrey de Luci as bishop in 1189, a retrochoir was added in the Early English style; the next major phase of rebuilding was not until the mid-14th century, under bishops Edington and Wykeham. Edingdon removed the two westernmost bays of the nave, built a new west front and began the remodelling of the nave. Under William of Wykeham the Romanesque nave was transformed, recased in Caen stone and remodelled in the Perpendicular style, with its internal elevation divided into two, rather than the previous three, storeys; the wooden ceilings were replaced with stone vaults. Wykeham's successor, Henry of Beaufort carried out fewer alterations, adding only a chantry on the south side of the retrochoir, although work on the nave may have continued through his episcopy.
His successor, William of Waynflete, built another chantry in a corresponding position on the north side. Under Peter Courtenay and Thomas Langton, there was more work. De Luci's Lady chapel was lengthened, the Norman side aisles of the presbytery replaced. In 1525, Richard Foxe added the side screens of the presbytery, which he gave a wooden vault. With its progressive extensions, the east end is now about 110 feet beyond that of Walkelin's building. King Henry VIII seized control of the Catholic Church in England and declared himself head of the Church of England; the Benedictine foundation, the Priory of Saint Swithun, was dissolved. The priory surrendered to the king in 1539; the next year a new chapter was formed, the last prior, William Basyng, was appointed dean. The monastic buildings, including the cloister and chapter house, were demolished during the 1560–1580 tenure of the reformist bishop Robert Horne; the Norman choir screen, having fallen into a state of decay, was replaced in 1637–40 by a new one, designed by Inigo Jones.
It was in a classical style, with bronze figures by Hubert le Sueur of James I and Charles I in niches. It was removed by when its style was felt inappropriate in an otherwise medieval building; the central bay, with its archway, is now in the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge. This stone structure was removed in the 1870s to make way for a wooden one designed by George Gilbert Scott, who modelled it on the canopies of the choir stalls of the monks. Scott's west-facing screen has been much criticised, although the carving is of superlative workmanship and replicates the earlier, albeit finer, carving of the early 14th century east-facing return stalls on to which it backs; the displaced bronze statues of the Stuart kings were moved to the west end of the Cathedral, standing in niches on each side of the central door. Scott's work was otherwise conservative, he moved the lectern to the north side of the quire beside the pulpit, facing west, where it remained for a century before returning to its present central position, now facing east.
Forthampton is a village in Gloucestershire, England in the Cotswolds area. The village is located three miles from the market town of Tewkesbury and features "a great number of interesting buildings", fine views, several duck ponds, a church, a collection of thatched cottages and farmsteads, a village hall and a village club. Forthampton was designated a Conservation Area in 2003 due to its special architectural and historic interest and appearance which it was desirable to preserve and enhance. Notable features of the village include extensive historic buildings clustered around farm houses situated at the centre of the village, the many roadside ponds and grass verges around and between buildings and significant panoramic views; the village forms a wide arc on rising, elevated ground well above the flood-plain of the Severn, from Hill End on the south to Sezincote on the east. Near the crown of the arc is the greatest concentration of houses and the church; the centre of the village is 175' above sea level affording fine views over the Severn Valley.
Forthampton is home to the church of St Mary the Virgin, grade II listed in 1955. The church is of significant historical interest and forms part of the wider Severnside Benefice, which comprises the Parishes of Chaceley, Deerhurst with Apperley, Tredington with Stoke Orchard and Hardwicke; the Benefice is set in the Severn Vale, is part of the Diocese of Gloucester. The church consists of a nave, north aisle, west tower, south porch; the tower is 13th-century with massive diagonal west buttresses and a stair-vice on the north-east corner. The tower has a plain parapet; the font is a memorial to Susan Plumtre who died in 1849. It is elaborately fashioned in marble. There is stained glass in the church - in the west window of the north aisle - by Clayton & Bell, 1862; the chancel was restored in 1864-66 by William Burges, who added the reredos, the altar rails, some stained glass. In the churchyard, there is stocks, west of the church; the post has manacles and stocks for three which have survived from 1787.
At the bottom of the hill is the Pound Pond, believed to have been the ducking pool for scolding wives. Forthampton was owned by the Church, hence such street names as'Bishop's Walk' and'Church Lane'; the abbots of Tewkesbury used Forthampton Court as a residence from the mid twelfth to mid sixteenth centuries. To the east of the Church, a row of four almshouses by William Burges of 1863-64; the almshouses are Grade II listed buildings. Forthampton village hall is used for a range of social and community activities including hosting Parish Council meetings, WI meetings, coffee mornings, regular whist drive evenings and food and craft fayres. Other social events held in the village hall have included fish and chip suppers, BBQs and an Italian Evening; the hall has fine easterly views. A medieval residence of the Bishops of Tewkesbury with many subsequent alterations including work by Anthony Keck in the eighteenth century and substantial re-modelling and additions by Philip Webb in 1889-92. Forthampton Open Gardens is a popular biannual event during which many of the village's fine gardens are open to the public.
Other attractions include an art exhibition, vintage engine and tractor display, bee-keeping display, light lunches and stalls providing locally produced cakes, crafts and produce. View from within the Church Tower: Views from atop Church Tower: Other Village Views Verey, David. Gloucestershire 2: The Vale and the Forest of Dean; the Buildings of England. Yale University Press. ISBN 0 300 09733 6. Media related to Forthampton at Wikimedia Commons Church of England: Forthampton
Cadaver Tomb of René of Chalon
The Cadaver Tomb of René of Chalon is a late Gothic period funerary monument, known as a transi, in the church of Saint-Étienne at Bar-le-Duc, in northeastern France. Consisting of an altarpiece and a limestone statue of a putrefied and skinless corpse which stands upright and extends his left hand outwards. Completed sometime between 1544 and 1557, the majority of its construction is attributed to the French sculptor Ligier Richier. Other elements, including the coat of arms and funeral drapery, were added in the 16th and 18th centuries respectively; the tomb dates from a period of societal anxiety over death, as plague and religious conflicts ravaged Europe. It was commissioned as the resting place of René of Chalon, Prince of Orange, brother-in-law of Duke Antoine of Lorraine. René was killed aged 25 at the siege of St. Dizier on 15 July 1544, from a wound sustained the previous day. Richier presents him as an écorché, with his skin and muscles decayed, leaving him reduced to a skeleton; this fulfilled his deathbed wish that his tomb depict his body as it would be three years after his death.
His left arm is raised as if gesturing towards heaven. At one time his heart was held in a reliquary placed in the hand of the figure's raised arm. Unusually for contemporary objects of this type, his skeleton is standing, making it a "living corpse", an innovation, to become influential; the tomb effigy is positioned above the carved limestone altarpiece. Designated a Monument historique on June 18, 1898, the tomb was moved for safekeeping to the Panthéon in Paris during the First World War, before being returned to Bar-le-Duc in 1920. Both the statue and altarpiece underwent extensive restoration between 1998 and 2003. Replicas of the statue are in the Palais de Chaillot, Paris. René of Chalon, Prince of Orange and stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland and Gelre, died on 15 July 1544, aged 25, during the siege of St. Dizier where he fought for Emperor Charles V. René had been mortally wounded in battle the previous day, died with the Emperor in attendance at his bedside, he died without leaving any direct descendants.
Charles wrote soon after to René's wife, Anna of Lorraine, setting out in detail the circumstances of René's last hours and death. The monument fulfills his wish that he be represented above this tomb as an écorché, a body without skin, "as he would be three years after his death". Cadaver tombs had been built for other members of the family, including his father Henry III of Nassau-Breda, his uncle Philibert of Chalon, his grandmother, the uncle of his wife. René requested that his tomb present him "not as a standard figure but a life-size skeleton with strips of dried skin flapping over a hollow carcass, whose right hand clutches at the empty rib cage while the left hand holds high his heart in a grand gesture". René's intention has never been definitively attributed, there is no mention of it in either Charles' letter or René's will. Given this lack of record and that, at only 25 years, René was unlikely to have thought about his own burial and memorial, it seems most that the idea behind the design came from Anna.
She is known to have commissioned the piece from Ligier Richier, little known outside his local area of Saint-Mihiel in north-eastern France. Although the precise dating is uncertain, it is known to have begun after 1544 and was completed before 1557; the tomb has become his influential work. In accordance with contemporary funeral rites, René's heart and bones were separated, his heart and bowels were kept at Bar-le-Duc and placed in the Collegiate Church of St. Maxe, demolished during the French Revolution and abandoned in 1782, while the rest were transferred to Breda to be interred with his father and his daughter, who died in early infancy, his widow commissioned Richier to construct a transi to hold some of the remains of her husband. The monument, along with other remains and relics of members of his family, were reinterred at the church of Saint-Étienne in June 1790. Anna commissioned the tomb as a memento mori, but the level of detail she may have specified is uncertain, it is Richier's best known work, remarkable for its original presentation of a "living corpse", a motif unparalleled in earlier funerary art.
He produced one more work in his Death, now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. Both works are comparable in form and intent to the 1520s La Mort Saint-Innocent from the Holy Innocents' Cemetery in Paris, now in the Musee du Louvre. In that work, a realistically depicted and emaciated corpse raises his right hand upwards while holding a shield in his left hand; the limestone statue is composed from three blocks of stone making up his head and torso, his left arm, his legs and pelvis. Both the statue and its frame are supported by an iron stud located at the figure's pelvis; the life-sized figure represents a putrefied and emaciated, skinless corpse, is positioned above an altarpiece. Its left arm reaches out; the hand of the outstretched arm may have once have held his preserved heart, extends in a gesture that may be either pleading or in tribute to a higher being. It is 177 cm in height, made from black marble and limestone; the skeleton is sculpted with unflinching realism. It is placed on a stylobate.
A coat of arms is placed undern
A cathedral is a Catholic church that contains the cathedra of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. The equivalent word in German for such a church is Dom. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Catholic, Anglican and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. Church buildings embodying the functions of a cathedral first appeared in Italy, Gaul and North Africa in the 4th century, but cathedrals did not become universal within the Western Catholic Church until the 12th century, by which time they had developed architectural forms, institutional structures and legal identities distinct from parish churches, monastic churches and episcopal residences. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the English word "cathedral" translates as katholikon, meaning "assembly", but this title is applied to monastic and other major churches without episcopal responsibilities; when the church at which an archbishop or "metropolitan" presides is intended, the term kathedrikós naós is used.
Following the Protestant Reformation, the Christian church in several parts of Western Europe, such as Scotland, the Netherlands, certain Swiss Cantons and parts of Germany, adopted a Presbyterian polity that did away with bishops altogether. Where ancient cathedral buildings in these lands are still in use for congregational worship, they retain the title and dignity of "cathedral", maintaining and developing distinct cathedral functions, but void of hierarchical supremacy. From the 16th century onwards, but since the 19th century, churches originating in Western Europe have undertaken vigorous programmes of missionary activity, leading to the founding of large numbers of new dioceses with associated cathedral establishments of varying forms in Asia, Australasia and the Americas. In addition, both the Catholic Church and Orthodox churches have formed new dioceses within Protestant lands for converts and migrant co-religionists, it is not uncommon to find Christians in a single city being served by three or more cathedrals of differing denominations.
In the Catholic or Roman Catholic tradition, the term "cathedral" applies only to a church that houses the seat of the bishop of a diocese. The abbey church of a territorial abbacy does not acquire the title. In any other jurisdiction canonically equivalent to a diocese but not canonically erected as such, the church that serves this function is called the "principal church" of the respective entity—though some have coopted the term "cathedral" anyway; the Catholic Church uses the following terms. A pro-cathedral is a parish or other church used temporarily as a cathedral while the cathedral of a diocese is under construction, renovation, or repair; this designation applies. A co-cathedral is a second cathedral in a diocese; this situation can arise in various ways such as a merger of two former dioceses, preparation to split a diocese, or perceived need to perform cathedral functions in a second location due to the expanse of the diocesan territory. A proto-cathedral is the former cathedral of a transferred.
The cathedral church of a metropolitan bishop is called a metropolitan cathedral. The term "cathedral" carries no implication as to the size or ornateness of the building. Most cathedrals are impressive edifices. Thus, the term "cathedral" is applied colloquially to any large and impressive church, regardless of whether it functions as a cathedral, such as the Crystal Cathedral in California or the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø, Norway. Although the builders of Crystal Cathedral never intended the building to be a true cathedral, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange purchased the building and the surrounding campus in February 2012 for use as a new cathedral church; the building is now under renovation and restoration for solemn dedication under the title "Christ Cathedral" in 2019. The word "cathedral" is derived from the French cathédrale, from the Latin cathedra, from the Greek καθέδρα kathédra, "seat, bench", from κατά kata "down" and ἕδρα hedra "seat, chair." The word refers to the presence and prominence of the bishop's or archbishop's chair or throne, raised above both clergy and laity, located facing the congregation from behind the High Altar.
In the ancient world, the chair, on a raised dais, was the distinctive mark of a teacher or rhetor and thus symbolises the bishop's role as teacher. A raised throne within a basilican hall was definitive for a Late Antique presiding magistrate; the episcopal throne embodies the principle that only a bishop makes a cathedral, this still applies in those churches that no longer have bishops, but retain cathedral dignity and functions in ancient churches over which bishops presided. But the throne can embody the principle that a cathedral makes a bishop.
Basilica of Saint-Denis
The Basilica of Saint-Denis is a large medieval abbey church in the city of Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris. The building is of singular importance and architecturally as its choir, completed in 1144, shows the first use of all of the elements of Gothic architecture; the site originated as a Gallo-Roman cemetery in late Roman times. The archeological remains still lie beneath the cathedral. Around 475 St. Genevieve built Saint-Denys de la Chapelle. In 636 on the orders of Dagobert I the relics of Saint Denis, a patron saint of France, were reinterred in the basilica; the relics of St-Denis, transferred to the parish church of the town in 1795, were brought back again to the abbey in 1819. The basilica became a place of pilgrimage and the burial place of the French Kings with nearly every king from the 10th to the 18th centuries being buried there, as well as many from previous centuries. "Saint-Denis" soon became the abbey church of a growing monastic complex. In the 12th century the Abbot Suger rebuilt portions of the abbey church using innovative structural and decorative features.
In doing so, he is said to have created the first Gothic building. The basilica's 13th-century nave is the prototype for the Rayonnant Gothic style, provided an architectural model for many medieval cathedrals and abbeys of northern France, England and a great many other countries; the abbey church became a cathedral in 1966 and is the seat of the Bishop of Saint-Denis, Pascal Michel Ghislain Delannoy. Although known as the "Basilica of St Denis", the cathedral has not been granted the title of Minor Basilica by the Vatican. Saint Denis, a patron saint of France, became the first bishop of Paris, he was decapitated on the hill of Montmartre in the mid-third century with two of his followers, is said to have subsequently carried his head to the site of the current church, indicating where he wanted to be buried. A martyrium was erected on the site of his grave, which became a famous place of pilgrimage during the fifth and sixth centuries. Dagobert, the king of the Franks, refounded the church as the Abbey of Saint Denis, a Benedictine monastery.
Dagobert commissioned a new shrine to house the saint's remains, created by his chief councillor, Eligius, a goldsmith by training. An early vita of Saint Eligius describes the shrine: Above all, Eligius fabricated a mausoleum for the holy martyr Denis in the city of Paris with a wonderful marble ciborium over it marvelously decorated with gold and gems, he composed a crest and a magnificent frontal and surrounded the throne of the altar with golden axes in a circle. He placed golden apples there and jeweled, he made a roof for the throne of the altar on silver axes. He made a covering in the place before the tomb and fabricated an outside altar at the feet of the holy martyr. So much industry did he lavish there, at the king's request, poured out so much that scarcely a single ornament was left in Gaul and it is the greatest wonder of all to this day. None of this work survives; the Basilica of St Denis ranks as an architectural landmark—as the first major structure of which a substantial part was designed and built in the Gothic style.
Both stylistically and structurally, it heralded the change from Romanesque architecture to Gothic architecture. Before the term "Gothic" came into common use, it was known as the "French Style"; as it now stands, the church is a large cruciform building of "basilica" form. It has an additional aisle on the northern side formed of a row of chapels; the west front has three portals, a rose one tower, on the southern side. The eastern end, built over a crypt, is apsidal, surrounded by an ambulatory and a chevet of nine radiating chapels; the basilica retains stained glass of many periods, including exceptional modern glass, a set of twelve misericords. The basilica measures 108 meters long, its width is 39 meters. Little is known about the earliest buildings on the site; the first church mentioned in the chronicles was begun in 754 under Pepin the Short and completed under Charlemagne, present at its consecration in 775. By 832 the Abbey had been granted a remunerative whaling concession on the Cotentin Peninsula.
Most of what is now known about the Carolingian church at St Denis resulted from a lengthy series of excavations begun under the American art historian Sumner McKnight Crosby in 1937. The building was about 60m long, with a monumental westwork, single transepts, a crossing tower and a lengthy eastern apse over a large crypt. According to one of the Abbey's many foundation myths a leper, sleeping in the nearly completed church the night before its planned consecration, witnessed a blaze of light from which Christ, accompanied by St Denis and a host of angels, emerged to conduct the consecration ceremony himself. Before leaving, Christ healed the leper, tearing off his diseased skin to reveal a perfect complexion underneath. A misshapen patch on a marble column was said to be the leper's former skin, which stuck there when Christ discarded it. Having been consecrated by Christ, the fabric of the bui