NORMAN ARCHITECTECTURE, 1000-1175
ANY architecture which the Normans had in their northern home must have been, like that of the Saxons, of wooden origin. At any rate there is no trace of any stone building of theirs in France before the year 1000, when the Lombard or Comacine-Romanesque was brought to them from Cluny. In the year 1001 the great round church of St. Benigne at Dijon was begun by William of Volpiano on the foundations of a church of the sixth century. He was a native of the island of S. Giulio, on the lake of Orta, and came therefore from the Comacine district. As a young man he went to Cluny and studied under Abbot Majolo, and by him was sent to Dijon in 990, taking with him nine monks learned in all the arts, who were natives of his own Comacine district of Novara. He was well acquainted with the Lombard style, and more particularly with the Burgundian form of it as shown in the splendid abbey of Cluny. This famous abbey had already become the great school of art and architecture for Western Europe.1 Its daughter churches were springing up in every direction, but probably none of the early ones was so important as St. Benigne. The Carolingian or Comacine character appears in the plan, which was circular, and in some of the details of the crypt which still remains. The two upper churches were destroyed____________________
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Publication information: Book title: Gothic Architecture in England and France. Contributors: George Herbert West - Author. Publisher: G. Bell & Sons. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1911. Page number: 189.