Construction of the South Rose

01/01/1260View on timeline

South Rose

The South Rose, or Rose of Noon, was offered by king Sain Louis. The master builders who conceived it were Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreuil. The first master architect of the Cathedral, Jean de Chelles, was responsible for arranging the laying of the transept façade's first stone, in 1258. The South Rose, a real center piece placed on the façade, was built in 1260 echoing the North Rose, which was built approximately in 1250. Like her counterpart of the north, the South Rose has a diameter of 12.90 meters and, if we add the clerestory over which it rests, the total height of the window is almost 19 meters.

This rose window is consecrated to the New Testament.

La Rose Sud ou Rose du Midi fut offerte par le roi Saint Louis. Les maîtres d’œuvres l’ayant conçu sont Jean de Chelles, puis Pierre de Montreuil. Le premier maître d’œuvre de la Cathédrale, Jean de Chelles, fit poser la première pierre de la façade du transept sud en 1258. La Rose Sud, véritable pièce centrale trônant sur la façade du transept, fut édifiée en 1260 en écho à la Rose du Nord, édifiée, quant à elle, vers 1250. Comme son pendant du nord, la Rose Sud, voit son diamètre atteindre 12,90 mètres, et, si l’on ajoute la claire-voie sur laquelle elle repose, la hauteur totale de vitrage est presque de 19 mètres.

Cette rosace est consacrée au Nouveau Testament.

Rose Sud (en Français)

The South Rose went through a number of interventions over the centuries, and it no longer resembles the original. It probably contained at the center an image of Christ in Majesty, but it disappeared, and it was Violet-le-Duc, during restauration, who decided to replace it with a representation of Christ from the Apocalypse, surrounded by the symbols of John, Matthew, St. Luke and St. Mark.

South Rose. Image from the official Notre Dame website, linked above.

The South Rose Window of Notre Dame is a Jewel in the Crown of one the most well known Gothic Masterpieces in the world.

Constructed in 1260, yes it’s nearly 800 years old, the South Rose Window was a gift from King Saint Louis. Designed by Jean de Chelles and Pierre de Montreull, it’s the central element that thrones over the transept facade, and is the counterpoint to the North Rose Window. Who knew there was a second Rose Window, right? There’s actually 3 rose windows, but because the sun moves in the southern sky, it’s the South Rose Window that’s lit up by the sun during the day, thus casting it’s remarkable glow into the transept of Notre Dame. As you may or may not know, a gothic church, when viewed from above, is shaped like a cross. The long part is known as the nave, and the shorter part that crosses over it, is the transept.

Over 42 feet across (12.9 meters) this Rosette, as it’s sometimes called, is dedicated to the New Testament. Below it are the sixteen prophets representing the heavenly court. The four great prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, carrying the four evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The South Rose Window symbolises Christ’s triumphance, reigning over heaven, surrounded by all of his witnesses on earth. The three rosettes of Notre Dame are considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of Christianity.

Detail of the South Rose. Image from the Notre Dame official website.

South rose window

View from the South side of the Cathedral, showing the South rose window, during restoration in 1847...
View from the side of a gothic cathedral (probably Notre Dame). Photograph by Leonardo Villena Pardo...


Hippolyte Bayard's photograph. Getty Museum Open Content.

Leonardo Villena Pardo's photograph. Europeana Collections.



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Published in 26/04/2019

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Architecture:

Invalid DateMajor restorationMajor restoration
Invalid DateFire
Invalid DateConsecration of the master altarConsecration of the master altar
Invalid DateRestoration of the great organRestoration of the great organ
Invalid DateConstruction of the South RoseConstruction of the South Rose
Invalid DateConstruction of the North RoseConstruction of the North Rose
Invalid DateConstruction of the West RoseConstruction of the West Rose
Invalid DateConstruction of the first spireConstruction of the first spire
Invalid DateThe first spire was dismantled
Invalid DateThe spire collapsed under the fire