Botanic Bleu Market

French Design on Friday 25

Friday, August 18, 2017

~ ribbed vaulted ceilings ~

Architectural features of massive castles, cathedrals, and municipal buildings are awe inspiring. With our heads tilted back to take in all of the lofty vaulted ceilings, we marvel at the engineering as well as the beauty.  French designs over the ages sometimes took generations of architects and masons to complete their grand designs, leaving behind buildings of such magnitude and beauty they still stand centuries later. 


Église Saint-Eustache in Paris, France was begun in 1532 and finished in 1657. A Gothic exterior surrounds the magnificent interior with Renaissance influences. 

Château de Beynac in the Dordogne region of France was begun in the 12th century and enlarged over several centuries until the 17th century. The castle was significant in the Hundred Years War and changed hands more than once, alternating between English and French armies. 

Château de Chenonceau was begun in 1514, the bridge over the river finished in 1559, and the grand gallery built on the bridge in 1570-1576.  The graceful ribbed supports reflect styling by its feminine owners and caretakers.   

Armies, fortunes, and caretakers were required to maintain the grandeur of castles and cathedrals lest they fall into ruin from wars or neglect. Fortunes and caretakers are still needed today. An alcove in the Église Saint-Eustache demonstrates part of the restoration completed after the French Revolution when it was desecrated and used as a barn. 

An 11th century Romanesque church, Saint Caprais, was restored in the 16th century. The church is a small building in Carsac, France that has unique bust carvings at the base of each of the arches. 

Modern-Day Ribbed Vaulted Ceilings

Until recently it never occurred to me that modern residences had ribbed vaulted ceilings. Not until I saw a post by Peonies and Orange Blossoms, In Love With Groin Vault Ceilings. Angela wrote a wonderful summary of the architecture of groin vault ceilings and included photos of modern French-design houses that have beautiful groin vault ceilings. 

All of the photos on Angela's post show houses with groin vault ceilings in hallways. See  a pin on my French Country Design Pinterest board for another smaller, more modest house that also has a hallway with a ribbed vaulted ceiling. 

After seeing these modern-day houses with a classical French design ceiling in hallways, thoughts of other ribbed vaulted ceilings occurred to me. Thoughts about a kitchen or a conservatory with a ribbed vaulted ceiling... 

Where do you dream of a French design ribbed vaulted ceiling? 

Thank you for reading French Design on Friday where original photos from France offer insights into authentic French design in architecture, houses, textiles, metal work, food, woodwork, landscapes...  

For more inspiration... 

Good Design Never Goes Out of Style - a detailed look at Saint Caprais in Carsac, France