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A view of the interior of the Cathedral of Saint-Maurice in Angers.

The Norman nave dates from the mid-12th century. It has no side aisles and is composed of three large sections, each covered with a large ribbed vault that anticipates the Gothic style. Unlike most ribbed vaults, whose central crossing is at roughly the same height as the transverse arches, these are raised about 3 meters higher, forming cupola-like tents over each bay of the nave. Each vault is a perfect square of 16.38m on a side. This unique style is known as the Angevin or Plantagenet vault.

The enormous wooden pulpit dates from 1855 and was designed by a priest named Choyer. Its carvings illustrate the theme of the Word of God, with Moses on the left side and St John receiving his revelation on the right.

The transept was built between 1190 and 1240, beginning with the south side. Some architectural development towards the Gothic can be seen here: the windows are pointed, lierne vaults have replaced the ribbed vaults, and the vaults are higher.

The chancel was originally very short due to the 4th-century Roman wall that ran along the east side of the church. But in 1274, Charles d'Anjou (brother of the king) gave permission for the wall to be demolished, and the chancel was extended immediately thereafter. It was built in the fully established Gothic style, with lierne vaults, blind arcades, and larger windows than the nave. The chancel is decorated with carved panelling of 1780, which conceal medieval wall paintings underneath.

The high altar is Baroque (1758), designed by Henri Gervais. Six monolithic columns support the canopy. Legend has it that Gervais was carried to it while he was dying, so he could give last instructions on its design.

The treasury, housed in a spacious room off the north aisle, contains some fine medieval croziers and other religious objects.

The above information is courtesy of the Sacred Destinations web site (http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/angers-cathedral).

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10627 W: 63 N: 29872] (130967)
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