Poitiers Cathedral: Interior, nave looking east towards altar
The present building, dedicated to St Peter, was begun ca. 1160. Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine were patrons. Construction proceeded slowly, the west front probably being reached by the 1240s; the style of the sculpture indicates that the lower levels were complete by ca. 1250. The cathedral is a hall church nearly 100 m long, with a flat east end. It is divided into three very high aisles that barely cut the slightly projecting transept. The vaults are very convex, punctuated by the arcades and wall passage. The church is brightly lit by stained-glass windows at clerestory level. The nave is enclosed by a single roof and supported by enormous buttresses; the west façade has two large towers and three portals. There are 13th-century choir-stalls.