Plan

An aisled basilica intercepted by a deep transept terminated by an aisless chevet plat. There is a cluster of towers (as seen at the cathedral of Laon), two wedged in the angle between transept arms and nave and turrets in the western frontispice.

Elevation

Saint-Martin has an austere two-story elevation with quadripartite rib vaults. The vaults of the nave are buttressed by flyers.

History

The abbey located at the western end of the plateau, resulted from the reform (1122) introduced to a college of canons at the instigation of the bishop of Laon (Barthélemy de Joux) and organized by Saint Norbert.

Chronology

Built in three phases: (1) third quarter of the 12th century the wooden-roofed church was laid out. Forms reflect dependence upon Cistercian prototypes. (2) After a fire at the end of the 12th century the church was transformed with the installation of vaults and rebuilding of the transept which was originally lower. (3) Late 13th century western frontispiece and upper parts of towers of transept towers.

Sculptural Program

Significance

Saint-Martin, a Premonstratensian church, is one that registers both the Cistercian simplified plan and elevation and molding types, but also reflects the impact the cathedral itself.

Bibliography

Chauvin, B., "Le plan bernardin: réalités et problèmes," Bernard de Clairvaux- Histoire, mentalities, spiritualité: Colloque de Lyon-Cîteaux-Dijon, Paris, 1992, pp 307-348



Clark, W., "Cistercian Influences on Praemonstratensian Church Planning: Saint-Martin at Laon," Studies in Cistercian Art and Architecture, Kalamazoo, 1984, 161-188
----, Saint-Martin at Laon: Prima Filia Praemonstratensis, Masters essay, Columbia University, 1964



Fritsch, J., "Quelques remarques sur l'architecture de l'église Saint-Martin à Laon," Mémoires de la Féderation des Sociétés d'histoire et d'archéologie de l'Aisne, 25, 1980, 67-81.
-----, "Laon: l'église abbatiale Saint-Martin," Congrès archéologique de France, 1994, 395-412.



Sandron, D., Picardie gothique, Paris, 2001, 215-227


The Floorplan: Images & Panoramas
Parametric Section
Vital Statistics
  • Begun around 1160
  • Destroyed in
  • Latitude 49.5625
  • Longitude 3.61179995536804
  • Parent Town
All the Buildings