Cathedral of Saint Peter

The Cathedral of Saint Peter (Cath├ędrale Saint-Pierre), begun in 1162 by Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine on the ruins of a Roman basilica, and well advanced by the end of the 12th century, is the largest medieval monument in the French city of Poitiers. It is built in the Romanesque and Early Gothic style, the latter predominating. It consists of three naves almost equal in height and width, both of which decrease towards the west, thus enhancing the perspective. Its length is 308 ft., and the keystone of the central vaulted roof is 89 ft. above the pavement. There is no apse, and the exterior generally has a heavy appearance. The principal front, which is broad relative to its height, has unfinished side-towers 105 and 110 ft. tall, begun in the 13th century. Most of the windows of the choir and the transepts preserve their stained glass of the 12th and 13th centuries; the end window, which is certainly the first in the order of time, contains the figures of Henry II and Eleanor. The choir stalls, carved between 1235 and 1257, are among the oldest in France.
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