Toulouse: St. Sernin (detail)

Brick insert in a stone column in the nave of St. Sernin

Here’s another story trapped in stone. This is one of the nave columns in St. Sernin in Toulouse. I would love to know why the interior of the stone column has this bricked-in repair job (it looks like a repair, anyway). The jagged but continuous vertical edge of the stones on either side of the bricks suggests to me that the space was hacked out of the original stone after the column was built and then filled in with the flat bricks at some later date, perhaps after the space was no longer needed. Maybe some sort of wooden or stone crossbeam was inserted into the column? That might explain the narrow keyway at the bottom of the brick pile, but this is pure speculation on my part.

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