Who financed the construction of Chartres Cathedral

1 Building knowledge in the early and high Middle Ages

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If a king, prince, bishop, abbot or a community decided to build a church, palace or castle in the Middle Ages, this meant a huge task, because the construction required enormous financial resources, a large number of workers, the procurement of usable building materials and , connected with everything, a comprehensive organization. The church building was the most extensive building contract in the Middle Ages, and the organizational and technical requirements were significantly greater than those of the profane buildings and had an impact on the profane building, so that our presentation of "architectural knowledge in the early and high Middle Ages" primarily deals with church building, especially since the sources for this are more abundant.1*Editor's note: Abbreviations for some frequently cited works as well as symbols are resolved in the list of abbreviations at the end of this text.

The size and splendor of the house of God on earth should be visible from afar above the place with its low houses, above this world, and the size and importance of the ecclesia spiritualis, the spiritual church. It should also clarify the special position of those who serve God and lead the church on earth, who “buy” heaven for themselves by founding or building a church (mercari) want, as Bishop Bernward von Hildesheim put it in his will of 1019.2 The church is the place of worship, it serves the gathering of the faithful. With its size and beauty, with the splendor of the furnishings and the splendor of the liturgy, the church building should "elevate the clumsy spirit to truth with the help of the material".3 Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, around 1230 defined beauty, which is to be equated with truth: “Beauty is the unity and consistency of a thing in itself and harmony of all its individual parts in itself and in relation to the rest and in relation on the whole and the whole in relation to all parts. "4 Thomas Aquinas explains beauty around 1250: “Three things are required for beauty: First, completeness or perfection. […] Next the right proportion or harmony. And finally the clarity; because we call things beautiful that have bright colors. "5 Criticism began early on, primarily with the Cistercian Order, founded in 1098 and focused on simplicity. In a pamphlet in 1124/25, the Cistercian Abbot Bernhard von Clairvaux opposed “the immense height of the [monastery] churches, the immeasurable lengths, superfluous widths, lavish stone carving and the unusual paintings that attract the attention of those [monks] in prayer direct and prevent the devotion. […] Of course, the cause of the bishops is different from that of the monks. For we know that since they are obliged to the wise and unwise, they stimulate the devotion of the carnal-minded people with material jewelry, because they cannot do it with spiritual things. "6

The royal and episcopal palaces and the castles that had been emerging since the 11th century served to represent and consolidate the rule. In 1181, for example, Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa convened the Reichstag, at which his adversary Heinrich the Lion was to be condemned, in the recently completed, magnificent Palatinate of Gelnhausen near Frankfurt.

The research situation on pre-Romanesque (750–1000) and Romanesque (1000–1250) construction operations is inconsistent and sometimes quite contradictory; What is widely known is to be scrutinized critically, in particular the mistake often observed in the literature must not be made to infer the conditions in the pre-Gothic period from the later Middle Ages with the better source situation. A balance has to be found between the danger of an overly abstract, non-illustrative, quite theoretical presentation and a lengthy stringing together of source references, which takes the sources into account and brings their informative value to the reader's attention unfiltered and thus verifiable, but at the same time in a structural work through the title treated topic and exemplarily leads to an appropriate statement. Great difficulties arose from the period of 500 years to be dealt with, during which fundamental changes in the history of ideas and a clear architectural change became noticeable. Another uncertainty lies in the often discernible difference between the period of time reported in written sources and the time the report was written. In addition, there is the great spatial expansion: In the 8th century the Franconian Empire crossed the Pyrenees into the Franconian (Spanish) Mark around and in 773/74 with the conquest of the Longobard Empire the Alps to Upper and Central Italy with Rome and the Benedictine mother monastery Montecassino. When looking at it, a look at England is also useful and necessary. The special development in the southern kingdom of the Normans and Staufers in southern Italy and Sicily is not taken into account.7

Every now and then, the condition or the development of the construction industry in the second half of the 13th century must be discussed in order to capture traditions or innovations that allow the Romanesque construction industry to be better separated and appropriately determined; For example, even the protocols of the Milan Cathedral Fabrikka from the years 1391–1401 have to be taken into account in order to capture the limited constructive knowledge and considerations which, if they were not available around 1400, may not be assumed in the Romanesque period either (see Section 1.5); the appearance of architectural drawings in the 13th century and the changing social position of the foremen (architects) must also be taken into account.

In the Germanic-Romanesque cultural scene, the monasteries became almost the exclusive home of art practice until the 12th century; this applies to painting, especially book illumination, goldsmithing and sculpture, the ornamenta ecclesiae. It can be assumed that at least in Carolingian times (8th / 9th centuries) the painting of secular rooms such as the aula regia in the Ingelheim and Paderborn Palatinate was executed by monks. It is different in architecture; Here, craftsmen and foremen are primarily lay people, who were conveyed from building site to building site by the building owners and site managers and who built churches, palaces and castles.8 “The overestimation of the monastic contribution to artistic production dates from the Romantic era and is part of the romanticization of the Middle Ages. Anonymity was their axiom, and the collectivity of artistic creation their principle. "9 The proportion of personal contribution by unskilled workers as henchmen was large. The payrolls of Dover Castle, Winchester Castle and Westminster for the period 1221–1272 show that the number of henchmen was significantly reduced at the time of sowing, harvesting and in winter. Extensive compulsory labor must also be taken into account. For the foreman, who generally could not read or write, the share of intellectual impulses from the mostly theologically educated builder was particularly large. His level of education is to be given priority, whereby technical-constructive knowledge the craftsmen and foremen accumulated on their hikes from traditional experiences and, depending on their talent, intuitively understood and further developed.

Tradition and continuity, as well as a lack of continuity, need to be considered equally when it comes to spiritual inheritance. Individual action was embedded in a general intellectual-historical situation. The church played the central role in the transformation process from antiquity to the Middle Ages. In particular, the intertwining of monasticism and society had been extraordinarily close since the 6th century; the monks like Cassiodorus (died around 580) brought the written form and imparted knowledge of the works of the church fathers and the classical ancient authors. The influence of the church as a spiritual and political-material power as well as giving meaning to society was of outstanding importance as the client of high-quality buildings; the church provided the theoretical knowledge and the organizational prerequisites; it also worked intensively on the building process down to the last detail through the placement of foremen and craftsmen as well as the provision of building materials.

The impressive medieval buildings, which are still admired today, are the legacy of important builders, committed organizers and experienced foremen with "a large number of skilled masons, stonemasons, sculptors and other workers", such as Abbot Suger around 1135 for the extension of his monastery church Saint-Denis obtained from Paris.10 In addition, there was a hard-to-estimate number of unskilled workers, as well as "carpenters, painters, iron smiths and foundries, goldsmiths and processors of precious stones who were particularly experienced in their craftsmanship (ars)“11; besides that, painters, glaziers and roofers should be mentioned. Most of the craftsmen had to be brought together from afar.

Written documents provide information about the medieval construction industry, especially the life descriptions of important builders, chronicles and, since the 13th century, account books of the construction works. There are also around 900 pictorial representations from the Middle Ages, which in particular provide information about the devices, machines and scaffolding and show their use.12 The Christian Middle Ages namely captured the creation of the world and the order of the cosmos by God in building ideas and understood the church as a reflection of the cosmos. The common approach is the rationally thought-out, ordering and systematically steering activity. Human building represents the creative act of God, which in Amos 9: 6 helps build (aedificare) and found (fundare) is expressed. The activity of the medieval builder and builder is committed to the requirement in the Book of Wisdom 11:21 that God “arranged everything according to measure, number and weight.” In addition, the church, the community of believers, is under construction until the last day , in the process of becoming, as it says in Ezra 5:16: "He laid the foundations of the temple of God in Jerusalem, and from the time until now it has been built and is not yet finished." structura, the orderly joining of the stones, is according to the content of the Bible illustrations, primarily for the Tower of Babel, i. H. the construction work "today" is shown, because the pictorial representation of the building in process can only achieve its truthfulness if it corresponds to the present reality: the flowing history can only become a permanent possession through "visualization". Thus, the medieval representations of the construction industry are a reliable source for contemporary construction technology with all craftsmen, work techniques, tools and devices. Few representations are known from the early period, from the 12th / 13th centuries. Century more, but they are numerous only from the 14th and especially from the 15th century; however, the latter cannot be used for the early and high Middle Ages. When evaluating the written sources, it must be taken into account that the theologically trained authors did not have a technically correct ability to describe and could not translate the colloquial terms on the construction site, since they only used the Latin expressions familiar from the Bible and from theological and philosophical texts Were available. There is also the problem that normality is not newsworthy, but structural and organizational news is only mentioned if it is exceptional and confirms the work of the client or the support of God or a saint.

1.1.1 Economic and social background

The Carolingian ancestral lands on the Meuse, Moselle and Rhine had achieved great cultural charisma in the late 8th and 9th centuries. Around the turn of the millennium, a general increase in population in Europe caused an intensification of economy, trade and traffic and led to the replacement of the early medieval natural economy and at the same time to the rise of the medieval commercial town, especially in West Franconian and Rhenish episcopal cities, but also in Regensburg; In the first half of the 11th century, a plethora of royal and dynastic cities were founded between the Rhine and the Elbe. In the 12th / 13th The Carolingian began in the 9th and 11th centuries. Century expanded and consolidated system of basic rule of the king as well as the ecclesiastical and secular lords with the economic and social order based on feudal affairs and the compulsory services to be dissolved. The high nobility, at the head of the king, ruled over the country and its people. He was supported by the knights, who have been around since the 11th / 12th. Century built castles, waged wars, settled disputes and pronounced justice. The common people had only a few rights and were obliged to serve (compulsory service) and pay taxes to the landlord. The citizens in the cities were an exception; they were free, they could buy property and trade.

Fig. 1.1: Tower construction, jib crane with running wheel, stone masons with chisel iron, clapper and straight edge, transport of stones with stretcher and mortar with trough over ladder incline, mid-13th century (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, Ms. fr. 638, fol. 3).

In parallel to the considerable expansion of the cultivated land in the course of the development of the country and in interaction with the development of urban culture, technical improvements were achieved in agriculture: achievements such as the workhorse with horseshoe and harness, bed plow, scythe, farm wagon as well as water and windmills brought higher yields. At the same time, the three-field economy developed, which eventually led to the three-field economy, in which the field of a village was divided into three fields (large fields) and a mandatory change of winter grain, summer grain and fallow land was prescribed for all farmers. In this way, not only was the grain yield doubled, but also plowing, sowing and harvesting were more evenly distributed over the year, at the same time the risk of bad harvests was reduced.

The temporary warming of the climate and the increase in agricultural yields formed in the 12th / 13th. Century the basis for the supply of the cities. There, with the general doubling of the population due to the absence of famines and epidemics, division of labor with specialization and handicraft production based on stocks could develop. This process was supported or made possible in the first place by the introduction of the money economy, which also brought about the flourishing of long-distance trade and commerce. Since the 13th century, large amounts of money have accumulated in the hands of citizens; the economic rise was accompanied by growing social prestige and political influence.

The introduction of cash wages in place of the earlier payment in kind brought great freedom in the labor market. The shortage of labor resulting from the social structural change led to an increase in the price and as a consequence to the development of work-relieving and personnel-reducing facilities, especially on the large construction sites, to a large number of innovations: Invention of the architectural drawing from approx. Both prerequisites for the serial production of cuboids and structural forms, strut system in skeleton construction with a reduction in material requirements, introduction of the construction crane with running wheel since the middle of the 13th century (Fig. 1.1)13 and thus saving of auxiliary staff, and finally work in winter. At the same time, the social position of the foremen changed.

During this time, the vaults in the central aisles of the churches in France became higher and higher: Laon (1155 / 60–1180) 24.0 m, Sens (1140–1168) 24.5 m, Paris (1163–1220) 32.80 m, Chartres (1194–1220) 36.55 m, Reims (1211–1233) 37.95 m, Amiens (1220–1240) 42.30 m and Beauvais (1255–1272) 48.0 m, whose choir 1284 partially collapsed, not because of the height, but because of the vast span of the arcades. The amount of building material required for such a construction volume is hardly imaginable, the workload and the scope of the necessary organization of such a large construction site are enormous and in relation to the other construction tasks in the Middle Ages without any comparison.

In the 12th century, the urban bourgeoisie began to displace the church from its leading position in the economy and, with the establishment of universities at the end of the 12th century, also from its monopoly on education.

During the 12thCentury "more and more in place of a symbolic-speculative understanding of nature comes an original interest in the structure, construction and autonomy of physical-physical reality, which is now based solely on the knowledge of reason".14 With reference to Plato Timaeus and with increasing interest in the writings of Aristotle, especially in the libri naturales, a progressive discovery of nature developed in the School of Chartres in the 2nd quarter of the 12th century. The new rationality was not without its influence on building.15 Although Aristotle's writings had been translated since the middle of the 12th century, they did not achieve full scope until the 13th century; the metaphysics of Aristotle gained influence on thought as a result of the comments of the Arab scholar Averroes (1126–1192). Some theologians have combated this influence as a threat to the faith. At the University of Paris, for example, writings were initially forbidden; It was not until 1255 that the artist faculty prescribed its students lectures on all of Aristotle's well-known treatises. In the year 1270, Thomas Aquinas finally showed that much of the new view is compatible with divine revelation.

The initiative to erect a building comes from a theologically educated or secular, often politically influential builder.16 The builder and client for the construction of episcopal churches was not the bishop alone, but also - as master of the house - the chapter, the assembly of canons (canons), a corporation of clergy who had to organize and carry out the choir service, the daily worship obligations as well as supported the bishop in his spiritual and worldly duties. The construction of collegiate and monastery churches was initiated by the abbot or the abbess, but was often influenced by the patron saint or founder, who provided part of the financial resources. The lower churches - parish churches, chapels and vicarages - were commissioned by the church patron or by the city's magistrate or the landowner (own churches).

The client not only initiated the building, but also determined the scope and requirements and was responsible for organizing the implementation and for the financial, material and material foundations. A primary task of the client was to appoint a building manager and a suitable builder, magister operis or foreman. The recruitment or provision of sufficiently qualified craftsmen and laborers in large numbers, both paid and forced labor, was the responsibility of him or the site manager. After all, he had to take care of suitable quarries and provide the necessary means of transport (wagons, ships) so that the building material could be delivered, mostly over long distances. Abbot Desiderius of Montecassino sent "envoys to Constantinople to recruit artisans (artifices), experienced in mosaic and block building ”.17 Countess Ita supported Reginbold, the first provost of the Muri monastery (around 1032-1055), “both in that she was a bricklayer (cementarii) recruited, cared for and rewarded them, as well as in what they gave in clothes and other things ”.18