Abbey Church of Saint-Riquier

Abbey Church of Saint-Riquier

Date dedicated ca. 790

Movement Early Medieval | Carolingian

Housed at Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

 

This 1617 engraving is based upon a 1612 view by Petau from an 11th Century manuscript illumination. Charlemagne based the floor plan of Saint-Riquier on old Basilican churches in Rome; one notable difference, however, is the massive westwork added to balance the loftiness of the east transept; it was used to accommodate the hundreds of monks at this abbey, and even served its own religious purposes: housing Christ-related relics, for example. Standard of abbeys, a covered arcade extends from the church to chapels of St. Mary and St. Benedict (founder of the Benedictine Order) to form a triangular cloister—significant as this abbey in particular was dedicated to the Holy Trinity.