The Romanesque as Relic:Architecture and Institutional Memory at the Collegiate Church of Saint-Omer
SourceJournal of the Society of Architectural Historians
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With The Romanesque as Relic: Architecture and Institutional Memory at the Collegiate Church of Saint-Omer, Michalis Olympios contributes to ongoing discussions about the architectural visualization of institutional history practiced by medieval religious foundations in Latin Europe. This article focuses on the collegiate church of Saint-Omer (Pas-de-Calais), a rare surviving example of a building from the region of French Flanders preserving architectural fabric fromthe eleventh to the sixteenth centuries. More specifically, Olympios examines the Romanesque apsidiole in the chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Cloches and its integration into the edifice's Gothic north transept, erected in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. A close reading of the architecture, the narrative and hagiographic sources, and unpublished archival documents demonstrates that, as in many other instances from across Europe, the retention of this earlier feature reflects the secular chapter's conscious decision to showcase the antiquity and prestige of the church by providing visual “evidence” of its foundational myth.