Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/74

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Nam Regina poli vult sine sorde coli." "Unless free from guilt shun this threshold, for the Queen of Heaven will be worshipped only by a guiltless soul."

Formerly at the head of the fourth landing was a central doorway leading into the nave by another flight of steps continued inside the church; and it was said of Notre Dame du Puy, that you went in at the navel and came out at the ears, i.e. at the lateral doors in the transepts. But the central entrance has been walled up, and a floor been laid over these steps. Access is now obtained to the nave by a side flight that turns round the church and gives admission in the south transept. The corresponding lateral flight gives access to the magnificent cloister, partially closed by a gate of intricate and beautiful ironwork. The arcade in the cloister rests on twin columns with richly carved capitals, no two alike, and the wall space above the arcade is filled in with mosaic work of red, yellow, white, and black.

The interior of the church is not less remarkable than the exterior. Originally it consisted of a small square basilica, now forming the retro-choir; this was prolonged into nave with aisles, and transepts were added forming a Greek cross, with a dome at the intersection. Later on the church was carried further westward, and the singular western portion, a nave over a porch, was raised in the twelfth century.

Each bay of the nave is surmounted by an octagonal cupola. Two sides contain windows looking north and south. Two sides have also windows sustained on an arch flung across the nave, and looking into it. The four other sides of the octagons are in the depth of the wall. The lateral south porch, opening on to the little Place du For, where is the episcopal palace, is a noble