Cathedral of Notre Dame Rood Screen and Choir
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Aarschot (Aerschot), Brabant, Belgium was built during the 14th and 15th centuries. The elaborately carved stone rood screen shown in this image dates to the late 15th – 16th C. and is a very good example of the Brabantine Gothic style. Similar rood screens were erected in Sint-Peterskerk, Louvain and in the churches at Dixmude, Tessenderloo and Lierre in Belgium. The underlying architectural structure of these Gothic screens is covered with a stone filigree of niches and figures. The Aarschot rood screen (or jubé), which separates the nave from the choir, is carved with scenes depicting the Passion of Jesus Christ. It is also surmounted by a large, carved and polychromed Crucifixion group (thus the designation rood screen), composed of Christ on the Cross flanked by Mary, his mother, and John, the beloved disciple.Notre Dame’s choir, visible above the screen and through its arches, was constructed in the 14th C. The alternating courses of light and dark colored stone is typical of the region. The choir’s beautifully carved wooden stalls date to the 16th C. The stall carving visible in this image (left) portrays the Annunciation, with the Archangel Gabriel greeting the Virgin Mary, who kneels at her prieu-dieu.For three weeks during August and September of 1914, German troops occupied Aarschot and used Notre Dame Cathedral as a prison.
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