The unnamed Abbot of Trocadero built the world's first wooden Gothic church as the first addition to the Cathedral of Saint Gorboduc (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 34).


Trocadero gets its name from the Isla del Trocadero, an island in the Bay of Cádiz, in south-central Spain[1]. Its fort was taken at the Battle of Trocadero (1823), itself a decisive battle in the Spanish Civil War (1820-3)[2].  The battle was commemorated by the Place du Trocadéro in Paris[3], which has given the word new life in the name of popular restaurants and night clubs[4].  "I suppose John picked the word because it has a Spanish-looking ending appropriate for the name of a Spanish monastery.[5]"

The unnamed abbot was several centuries ahead of the so-called Carpenter Gothic architectural style.  This late 19th Century North American was an application of Gothic Revival architectural detailing and picturesque massing applied to wooden structures[6].  One of the best-known examples is the American Gothic House in Eldon, Iowa, as seen in artist Grant Wood's famous painting[7].


  1. Wikipedia: Isla del Trocadero
  2. Wikipedia: Battle of Trocadero
  3. Wikipedia: Trocadéro
  4. Wikipedia: Trocadero (name origin)
  5. Correspondence with Charles Bowen.
  6. Wikipedia: Carpenter Gothic
  7. Wikipedia: American Gothic House