Bourges, Palais Jacques-Coeur

This is an altogether remarkable space. Do not trust your eye entirely here. What appears to be an increasing height of the arches is probably a perspective illusion brought about by the use of a wide-angle lens to photograph the scene.

Perfect gothic arches have been used, but the stonework in the wall on the left is not in keeping with the quality of the rest of the construction. This is probably an earlier building to which this addition was made.

Notice the perfect arch supporting the stairway. Notice also that, while there would have been room for the stairs to reach the ground without becoming at all steep, they were brought to a landing, from which a puddle of steps leads to the ground. This arrangement provides a balustrade where it is necessary for safety and places to sit at the lower levels.

The stone must be of exceptional quality to be able to bear the loads in such slender columns.

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Text ©2001-2002 J.Crawford