Image from page 44 of “The Civil engineer and architect’s journal, scientific and railway gazette” (1839)
Title: The Civil engineer and architect’s journal, scientific and railway gazette
Year: 1839 (1830s)
Subjects: Architecture; Civil engineering; Science
Publisher: London : [William Laxton]
Contributing Library: Northeastern University, Snell Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Northeastern University, Snell Library
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1843.] THE CIVIL ENGINEER AND ARCHITECT’S JOURNAL. .33 BUILDINGS IN BELGIUM. By George Godwin’, Jun, F.R.S., &c. " Perhaps no study reveals (o us more forcibly the social condition anil true feeling of passed generaiions than lhat of their monuments."âM. Guizot. Chapter II.
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Concerning the age of the Cathedral, there has been some con- troversy. Monsieur B. C. Dumortier, a member of the Belgic Cham- ber of Representatives and of the Royal Academy of Brussels, (and in company with whom the writer had the good fortune to examine the building) published first in 1S37,’ some remarks on the Cathedral, and then in 1841, a second pamphlet,- with a view to prove that the nave of the existing building belonged to the 6th century. These essays display much learning and ingenuity, but more enthusiasm, and this latter has served to blind the writer to all that militated against his desire to obtain unlimited reverence for his favourite building, and like an unruly Pegasus, has carried him far away from the goal he sought, namely the truth. Absence of direct statement by early writers that the nave was destroyed, serves to prove to M. Dumortier, (as in some similar cases it has been urged by other continental anti- quaries) that it has not been rebuilt, and so far from the fact that pointed arches form an essential feature in it being deemed sufficient to weaken his opinion, it is proof strong as holy writ that the system of pointed architecture arose in Belgium, and that in the cathedral of Toumay is to be found its first out-budding. In confirmation of his 1 " fftiue de Bnuelles," Dec. Is:.7. – â¢â¢ Dissert nio i sur Cage de la Cat! e~Irale No. 65.âVol. VI.âFebruary, iSM. :" Bruxsller, 1841. opinion, M. Dumortier informed me, that a charter had been receutly discovered dated 1257, proving that the architect of Cologne Cathe- dral was a Belgian. It sets forth that the monks of Cologne, in con- sideration of the services performed by Master Gerard, of St. Trend CGtrardus de Sancto Tradone), in directing the construction of their Cathedral, had assigned to him a certain estate of land. Although apart from the present purpose, I cannot avoid repeating here a portion of the King of Prussia’s speech when laying the first stone of the new works in completion of the last mentioned wonderful building. "Here where the ground stone lies," said the king, "hen; by these towers, will arise the noblest portal in the world. Germ any builds itâmay it be for her, with God’s will, the portal of a new era, great and good. Far from her be all wickedness, all iniquity, and all that is ungenuine and therefore un-German. May dis-union between the German princes and their people, between ditVerent faiths and diffe- rent classes, never find this road; and never may that feeling appear here, which, in former times stopped the progress of this templeâaye, even stopped the advance of our Fatherland. Men of Cologne, the possession of this building is a high privilege for your city, enjoyed by none other, and nobly this day have you acknowledged that it is so. Shout, then, with me, and while you shout will I strike the ground-stone,âshout loudly with me your rallying cry, ten centuries old, "Cologne for ever I" And then, while a thousand voices re- echoed " Cologne for ever! " the ancient crane on the top of the south tower was once again put into motion, and was seen slowly raising a ponderous stone. The amount both of time and money required to complete the Cathedral renders the issue sosaewhat doubtful. Let us hope, however, that this fear may be unfounded, and that this mag- nificent building may gradually gain its intended proportionsâan em- blem of unity, a worthy offering to God, and an ornament to the world. To return, however, to Toumay; there is sufficient evidence to induce the belief that the Cathedral was founded at the end of the 3rd century, and rebuilt about the middle of the 5th century, with the aid of Clovis, by St. Eleutherius. Chilperic in 578, endowed the Cathedral largely, and his original deed of gift " cum sigillis," remained amongst the archives of the chapter until they were burnt in 1566.3 Louis le-dcbonnaire added to the cloisters of the Ca- thedral in SI7, and Charles the Simple further endowed it. Soon after this, however, namely in 8S2, the Normans ravaged Belgium with fire and sword, and inspired such universal dread, that the people, adding to their prayers "from the fury of the North-men, Good Lord deliver us," fled hi all directions. Toumay, rich and important as it then was, did not escape; the walls and the chief buildings were destroyed, and the inhabitants were forced to abandon the town, to which it seems they did not return until the beginning of the luth century. At the time of this invasion tliere can be little doubt the Cathedral was pillaged, and partly if not wholly demolished; and it is probable that its re-erection was not attempted until quite the close of the 10th century, in which the inhabitants returned, or rather the beginning of the 11th. All analogy shows that earlier than this, the nave and transepts could hardly have been com- menced, and that it was probably much later before they were com- pleted.4 If analogy, however, were deemed insufficient to remove "Triie deeds must have been very numerous, if we believe a contemporary writer, who says that the melted wax from the seals formed a stream down ‘ Â« It is but fair towards M. Dumortier to give, in his own words, his argu- ment against the assumed destruction of the Cathedral by the Nurmaiw :â " L’histoirc de la translation dn corps de Saint Eleuttew sous leveque Hedilion en 870, immediatement avant 1 invasion dea Najrmanda, nous fait connaitreqn’acetteepoquel’on avail demoh la Candle de Saint biienne, qui etait iituee i la suite de la cathedrale. Voici comment aW.me u chroniuue write au Xle siecie : Presulatwu t,â â prudenti t-t just,, posshlenle, basilic, lâati St,,,!,,,,,, ,,, ,,ll,âââirt,r ,. ,msl rrclcsium Chrhti ^nitrieis .,v,Â«/Â«r,/Â«c nrfims Man,,; ,t,str,,cta ,s Lesoin que prend le chroniqueur a nous apprendre la destruct m tU a chaf*ile de Saint Ktienne.annexee (P) alaâ <-*â bed rale, tadique churmentla conservation tie < lle-ci. Si ce v.istc mununu’itt, aont 1 existen :e est u< "â ‘â¢t au VI,’eta" IXesiecie, avaltate detrnlt lor. de linvas.on des Now mands le chrouiquenr se serait-il borne 1 nous apprendre la destruction d un- dases parties f C’est id que s’applique se vied adage j tnol partie; Elevatic corporis beati EUutlurii tor Libra Sancti Martini Tornactnsis. epUCO/li ft COtlfit.
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