Construction of the romanesque basilica
The Basilica construction is a human endeavour with a spiritual reach. It is undertaken under the leadership of a work master performing his function as a sacerdoce.
The Basilica is like a re-creation of the world and laws governing it, which are reflected in the choice of the site, the plan of the structure and the date of consecration.
The choice of the site is capital so that the structure can fulfil its function. It is always a predilection place:
- An islet (Church of Saint Pierre de Maguelone);
- A hill (Basilica Sainte Madeleine de Vézelay built up on the “eternal hill”);
- The river banks (Church of Saint Pierre de Vienne on the Rhône);
- A former sanctuary (The majority of the structures).
Therefore, it is not surprising to see a number of religious works erected according to rules used by builders of ancestral worship places.
In fact, the generation filiation links up the buildings just as the beings participating in their construction. The work does not only consist in a momentary architectural realization, even if it is sacred. It also constitutes a field of realization for the beings taking part in its erection. Practicing the craft of carpenter, stone-cutter, mason, glass worker, locksmith etc. does not only consist in the elevation of the structure, but also of the souls of its builders. It is really a matter of spiritual quest, of an initiatory path made in the image of the “Collegia Fabrorum” of the Roman God Janus and the Guild of the Middle Ages (For details on this subject, see the two Saint John). Therefore, it is not astonishing to see the Basilica evoking the access gates to the elevation degrees of the being, notably through the twinned columns decorating its portal.