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church construction, cathedral of Vienne


The unfinished Romanesque nave of the cathedral of Vienne is a fascinating monument. Begun around 1140, the building campaign appears to have ended abruptly in the 1160's with only the lower story of the seven easternmost bays of the nave completed. The rest of the church was finished during the Gothic period. Despite its unfinished state, the twelfth century structure is richly decorated, with fluted pilasters and pointed arches, ornate mouldings, and over sixty figural and vegetal capitals (Fig. 1). The beauty and complexity of this program are evident; however its subtleties have not been thoroughly explored as yet.