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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bayeux in Calvados Département, Basse-Normandie, France — Lower Normandy (Atlantic Coast)
 

Le Doyen du Chapitre

Chapter Dean

 

—Bayeux, la Qualité a ses Racines —

 
Le Doyen du Chapitre Marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 1, 2015
1. Le Doyen du Chapitre Marker
Inscription. En française:
A la fin du Moyen Age, 48 chanoines, membres du clergé attachés à la cathédrale, formaient l’assemblée (ou chapitre) constituant le conseil de l’évêque. Le doyen, premier dignitaire du chapitre, était par ses prérogatives le second personnage du diocèse. L’organisation des abords de la façade sud de la cathédrale témoigne de son statut privilégié.

Le portail du transept, élevé à la fin du XIIIe siècle, lui était réservé. Il ne le franchissait que deux fois dans sa vie : le jour de sa nomination et celui de ses obsèques. Une seconde entrée destinée à tous les fidèles est aménagée sous un porche entre les chapelles latérales de la nef.

Le tympan du portail du doyen est consacré à la vie de saint Thomas Becket (1117-1170), archevêque de Cantorbery, dont la famille est d’origine normande. Il relate de bas en haut la brouille du prélat avec le roi Henri II Plantagenêt le contraignant à s’exiler en France, puis, après son retour en Angleterre, son assassinat par des fidèles du roi et enfin, la repentance d’Henri II devant son tombeau.

Depuis le XIIIe siècle, un manoir réservé à l’usage du doyen s’élève face à ce portail. L’actuelle résidence date de la première moitié du XVIIIe siècle. Le porche d’entrée, de la deuxième moitié du XVIIIe siècle, est surmonté d’un fronton extérieur portant les armes de l’évêque Nicolas-Pierre Didiot (1856-1866), prélat à qui l’on doit la restauration de la tour centrale de la cathédrale. Ces armoiries rappellent
Close up of picture on the marker image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 1, 2015
2. Close up of picture on the marker
Changes to the Central tower from the 12th to the 19th century are outlined in the "More about this marker" section below.
que l’hôtel du doyen devint la résidence ordinaire de l’évêque de 1806 à 1905.

English:
At the end of the Middle Ages, the Bishop's Council was made up of 48 canons. The Dean was the leading dignitary of this assembly (chapter). His privileged status is confirmed by the layout of the surroundings of the Cathedral's southern facade.

The transept portal, built in the late 13th century, was reserved for his entry. Its tympanum is dedicated to the life of Saint Thomas Becket (1117-1170), Archbishop of Canterbury, whose family was of Norman origin. From the bottom to the top, it relates his dispute with the Plantagenet King, Henry II, terminating in Thomas' dramatic assassination by knights faithful to the King.

A second entry for all the worshippers is located under a porch between the side chapels in the nave (2).

Since the 13th century, a manor house for the Dean's use, has stood facing this portal. The current residence dates from the first half of the 18th century. The entry porch, dating from the second half of the 17th century is crowned by an exterior fronton bearing the arms of the bishop to whom we owe the restoration of the Cathedral's central tower (3). This coat of arms is a reminder that the Dean's House became the Bishop's ordinary residence from 1806 to 1905.
 
Erected by La ville de Bayeux. (Marker Number 4.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Circuit du Vieux Bayeux marker series.
 
Location.
Le Doyen du Chapitre Marker and transept portal image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 1, 2015
3. Le Doyen du Chapitre Marker and transept portal
49° 16.517′ N, 0° 42.228′ W. Marker is in Bayeux, Basse-Normandie, in Calvados Département. Marker is on Rue L L le Forestier just east of Impasse Prudhomme. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bayeux, Basse-Normandie 14400, France.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 50th Northumbrian Division Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Les Abords du Chevet de la Cathédrale (within shouting distance of this marker); Un édifice du Xe siècle (within shouting distance of this marker); Le palais Episcopal (within shouting distance of this marker); L'Esplanade Flachat (within shouting distance of this marker); Le Rempart Gallo-Roman (within shouting distance of this marker); L'Aure (about 240 meters away, measured in a direct line); Autour des Augustines (about 240 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bayeux.
 
More about this marker. Under the marker's photograph, the caption outlines the construction eras for the cathedral. It reads:
La tour centrale : evolution du XIIe au XIXe siècle.
A
- XIVe: rhabillage en style gothique de la base romane quadrangulaire du XIIe siècle.
B - XVe : élévation du second niveau (octogone de style flamboyant alors surmonte d’un dôme en plomb. Travaux entrepris par l’évêque Louis d’Harcourt, patriarche de Jérusalem (1477-1479).
C - XIXe : suppression du dome reedifie en 1713-1714, construction de l’etage superieur (style
The transept portal, depicting the life of Saint Thomas Becket, as mentioned on the marker. image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 1, 2015
4. The transept portal, depicting the life of Saint Thomas Becket, as mentioned on the marker.
neo-gothique flamboyant) et couverture d’un dome en cuivre (1856-1867).

Central tower: Changes from the 12th to the 19th century
A
- 14th century: Gothic style cladding of the 12th century quadrangular Norman base.
B - 15th century: Construction of a second level (flamboyant style octagon), then covered by a lead dome. Works commissioned by Bishop Louis de harcourt, partriarch of Jerusalem (1477-1479).
C - 19th century: Removal of the dome rebuilt in 1713-1714, construction of athe upper floor (flamboyant Neo-Gothic style) and installation of a copper dome (1856-1867).
 
Also see . . .  http://monumentshistoriques.free.fr/cathedrales/bayeux/bayeux.html. Nos Monuments presents a French-language history of the Cathedral: The Cathedral is one of the masterpieces of Gothic and Romanesque architecture in Normandy. Located at the presumed site of the forum of the Gallo-Roman city of Augustodurum ,and replacing of a Merovingian-era building, it forms part of the whole of a remarkably preserved ecclesiastic complex. It is for the Cathedral that the ​​famous Bayeux Tapestry was made.... (Submitted on November 1, 2015.) 
 
Historic Postcard View of the Transept Portal image. Click for full size.
Postcard by E. Pasquis, 1910
5. Historic Postcard View of the Transept Portal
Entry porch to the 13th century manor house facing the transept portal image. Click for full size.
By Kevin W., July 1, 2015
6. Entry porch to the 13th century manor house facing the transept portal
<i>Bayeux - La Cathédrale La Salle du Chapitre</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard by A. Louis, circa 1910
7. Bayeux - La Cathédrale La Salle du Chapitre
The Bishop's council chamber, as mentioned on the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 29, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 188 times since then and 59 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 29, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   5. submitted on November 1, 2015.   6. submitted on September 29, 2015, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.   7. submitted on November 1, 2015. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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