A chapter by Professor of Architecture Thomas Barrie titled “The Basilica of La Madeleine, Vézelay: Spatial and Symbolic Narratives in the Medieval Western Christian Church” has been published in Pilgrimages—Sacred Landscapes and Self-Organized Complexity (New Delhi: Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts, 2009). The Romanesque pilgrimage church of Sainte-Madeleine, located in the Burgundian (France) village of Vézelay, was first begun during the Carolingian Era. Its crypt was reputed to contain the relics of Mary Magdalene, which, along with its geographic location (it was located at the head of one of four pilgrimage routes that led to Santiago de Compostela in Spain) established Vézelay as an important pilgrimage church and monastic center. Explains Barrie: “The basilica is known for the quality and breadth of its sculpture and the rich symbolic narratives that unfold along the processional path from its western front to the sanctuary.”
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