Full text: Beauties of continental architecture

The first stone of this Church was laid in 1522, and on the 25th of February, 
1545, the choir and all the side chapels were finished; the Host was placed in it, 
and divine service solemnly performed. 
The building of St. Remy having been suspended about 1560, in consequence 
of the religious troubles, the edifice remained incomplete for nearly fifty years: the 
choir alone was entirely finished. Only some pillars of the nave were yet erected : 
large clumsy pillars, in the style of those in the churches of Holland. It was not 
till 1603 that the work was resumed. The nave was not completely erected and 
covered in till 1663. The portal looking towards the sea, had been finished in 
1643. As for the grand portal, that of its two towers, which is on the side towards 
the sea, was built in 1633. The other, which was begun in 1630, was not com 
pletely erected till 1686. 
These portals and towers, as well as all the portions erected in the seven 
teenth century, are in the bastard Italian style ; it is a kind of Frenchified Palladian 
style, a mixture of various orders; grooved ornaments, mixed with triglyphs, 
and what are called metopes, forming altogether a most heavy and ungraceful 
At the entrance of the church, there is a small holy-water vessel, under the 
southern tower. As all the Cicerone show it to strangers, and as many antiquaries, 
among them Mr. Dawson Turner, have judged it worthy of attention, we must say 
a few words concerning it; “ though, to tell the truth,” says M. M. L. Vitel, in his 
History of the Town of Dieppe, “ it does not appear to me to be so very important 
as it is represented. Strange characters, which belong to no alphabet, are sculp 
tured round this vessel. Between the characters there are small bishop's mitres. 
There are seven characters, and seven mitres, placed alternately. Attempts have 
been made to decipher and explain these characters. If I might hazard a conjec 
ture, I should say that these characters are figures badly formed, and that the 
unskilfulness of the workman is the only cause of the mystery.”

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