One of Viollet-le-Duc's first original neo-Gothic designs was the small parish church of Saint Gimer at Carcassonne, built from 1852 to 1859. Here, Viollet-le-Duc eschewed monumentality and grandeur in favor of a simple, plain, and inexpensive design which would be suitable to a working-class neighborhood. Contrary to criticisms of his restorations as being insensitive to regional Gothic styles, in Saint Gimer the architect demonstrated an acute concern for fidelity to local building traditions. In addition, he recognized the historical importance of the Cistercian, Dominican, and Franciscan orders in southern France, by adopting certain elements of plan, proportions, and articulation from monastic types. Thus the church of Saint Gimer reveals the principles which Viollet-le-Duc thought must govern 19th-century church building: economy, austerity, and the creation of a gracious sense of space.
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Research Article| October 01 1981
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Lucy MacClintock; Monumentality versus Suitability: Viollet-le-Duc's Saint Gimer at Carcassonne. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 October 1981; 40 (3): 218–235. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/989695
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