France – The period of prosperity of the abbey of Fleury, in the 10th and 11th centuries, finds its expression and its crowning in the building of the abbey church which still perpetuates today the memory. Indeed, at the time, the relics of Saint Benedict had not yet a dignified residence, especially since the burning of the monastery in 1026, nor the monastery of church to the extent of the pilgrims who came to seek relief from Of Saint Benedict. It may be thought that it was this double consideration which prompted the monks to undertake the construction of a new church.
It was first of all to Abbé Gauzlin in the first half of the eleventh century that we owe the project and the first works of the porch-tower which today serves as the entrance to the abbey. His intention was to erect a monument which was “a work such as it is an example for all Gaul,” worthy of the greatness of the abbey, its chief, and its heavenly patron Saint Benedict. He chose a site at the entrance of the monastery, to the west. And, both for its architecture and its capitals, it was inspired by the description of the heavenly Jerusalem from the biblical book of Revelation.
Under the abbey of Guillaume (1067-1080) begins the construction of the church itself; It also testifies to the artistic level of the monastery at that time. The choir and the sanctuary were consecrated in 1108, and a few months later King Philip I, who had helped this enterprise with his liberality, died at Melun and asked to be buried, not at Saint-Denis but at Fleury, Near St Benedict, and his body was placed under the pavement of the sanctuary. The construction of the nave spread throughout the 12th century and in 1218 the dedication of the abbey was finally completed.
Issue Date: 22.05.2017
Designer: Pierre Albuisson
Process: Taille douce
Size: 30 x 40.85 mm