The north and south roses were begun by Pierre de Montrereau in 1231 and were probably complete by 1240. They clearly draw on the west rose at Paris of c.1220, but in turn inspire the transept roses at Notre Dame in the 1250s and 1260s. St Denis was subjected to 'the insanity of the mobs' after the Revolution and in 1792-6 it became a Temple of Reason and the roof soon lost its lead! In 1793-4 the building became a depot for grain and flour thereafter. However Napoleon decided to repair the building in 1805 and throughout the nineteenth century there was much restoration, over-restoration and changes of mind. Viollet le Duc worked there between 1847-79 when the original tracery of the north and south rose windows was replicated and new glass put in them. Some of the old tracery has been recovered and was recently on show at St Denis. [See Dossiers d'Archeologie no 297, October 2004, published by Editions Faton S.A. for a full report on this recovered material]

France, 75

Date C13/19

Symmetry symbol:

Symmetry comment:

Paris, St Denis

The north rose


Photograph by: Painton Cowen