Portail de la Calende, Rouen Cathedral


The Calende Portal (Portail de la Calende) is situated in the South end of the transept of Rouen Cathedral. Richly decorated, the portal was built in the 15th century.

The richly decorated portal of the South Transept is known as ‘Portail de la Calende’.

Its name refers to the church meetings who took place during the calendes in a house which used to stand opposite the street. The portal was built in the 15th century thanks to the generosity of Jean Gorren, a rich bourgeois from Harfleur.

The portal was built with the stone of Vernon and was restored between 1861 and 1868.

The tympanum has three registers with bas-reliefs depicting the paschal mystery, the Passion and the redemption of humanity.

On the trumeau stands a statue of Christ.

The archivolts of the portal feature kings, prophets and bishops.

Like the Librarians Portal (North Transept) the portal is flanked by two square towers well proportioned with their sides pierced with long pointed windows. Above the portals rises a great gable topped by a statue.

The two buttresses flanking the portal are richly ornamented with feathered tracery, canopies, niches and statues, and terminates in pinnacles.

Above the gable is the great rose-window.

The portal is finally surmounted by a second gable under which is a scene depicting the coronation of the Virgin.

Find out more about Rouen Cathedral.


About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. In 2014 he moved back to Europe from Sydney with his wife and daughter to be closer to their families and to France. He has a background teaching French and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations and a degree of Economics and Management.

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