The Great Chapel’s Loggia and Door
This landing or loggia, forms the court in front of the Great Chapel. It gets its light from the Place square – which is now the Courtyard of Honour – through the Indulgence Window.
This is where the Holy Father gave his triple blessing to the crowd gathered in the Courtyard of Honour and where the tiara was placed on the Pope’s head during the coronation ceremony. The Great Chapel Door is the most important group of sculpture in the palace. The archivolt is comprised of two arches. The taller of the two contains 12 figures, the shorter only 10. All the heads were broken off during the French Revolution.
In the 19th century, military engineers bored a door into the tympanum and altered a staircaise to gain access to the dormitories which had been set up in the Great Chapel. This operation completely destroyed the left-hand side of the lintel and the tympanum, as well as part of the archivolt. Large sculptures decorated the lateral niches. Only one now remains, under the central canopy, which has been identified as Saint Peter, to whom the Chapel is devoted. The lintel over the double door represents the Last Judjement. As a result of the damage it has sustained, particularly during the 19th century, all that remains is the representation of the damned being thrown into the flames of Hell. The bases of the uprights are in better condition and are reminiscent of those in Saint John’s Cathedral in Lyon.
|From Clement VI’s reign on, the Great Chapel was the scene of pontifical ceremonies, every aspect of which was governed by the Ordos, or guides to Roman ceremonial. Fifty-eight liturgical festivals were held there : Sunday masses, canonisation masses, the mass for the last Sunday of Lent and the mass before the Golden Rose was presented to a Christian prince.Of all the sumptuous ceremonies, the papal coronation was the scene of exceptional pomp and magnificence.|
|AVIGNON TOURISME 2009 | TOUS DROITS DE REPRODUCTION RESERVES|