TOWARDS THE END OF the first half of the nineteenth century, the romantic appreciation of historic monuments was given new vigour through the confidence provided by the development of modern science and technology, as well as by positivism in philosophy. At the same time as eclecticism dominated the field of contemporary architecture, the treatment of historic buildings found support from historicism. In an increasing number of European countries, important historic buildings were conceived as national monuments, and were restored in the most appropriate style as an illustration of the achievements of the nation. Having been initiated in England and Prussia, restoration of mediaeval buildings was given its ‘rationale’ as the restoration of stylistic unity by the Service des monuments historiques of France.