Saintes Cathedral

Saintes, France

Saintes Cathedral is a former Catholic church located in Saintes, France. The cathedral is a national monument.

It was formerly the seat of the Bishop of Saintes, a diocese abolished under the Concordat of 1801, when its territory was reallocated, mostly to the Diocese of La Rochelle.

The previous cathedral was built here in the 12th century. Little remains of this building apart from a Romanesque arm and the crossing of the transept. The cloisters date from the 13th century. Otherwise the church was entirely rebuilt starting from 1450, in the Flamboyant style, and work was still not completed in 1568, when during the French Wars of Religion, from which this region suffered particularly severely, the building was sacked by Protestants, causing such serious damage that the nave had afterwards to be entirely rebuilt.

Lack of resources meant that a complete rebuilding has never been possible. The heavy appearance of the tower, for example, results from the lack of the spire intended to finish it, the present dome constituting a more economical substitute.

The interior is made striking by its lack of decoration and by the wooden ceiling, completed in 1927.



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Founded: 1450-1568
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Valois Dynasty and Hundred Year's War (France)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anna Maria Beritsi (10 months ago)
Ageless beauty
Javier Fernandez (2 years ago)
Solid cathedral dominating the town’s skyline
Christine Lamb (4 years ago)
We were interested to find the link with Canteen in North Germany. The stained glass window of the Sacré Coeur in Paris was breathtaking.
Antoine M (5 years ago)
I absolutely adore this cathédrale with its belfry tower dominates the skyline. Even making my way here from the city I could see it! Upon entering, the portal is quite impressive with its pointed bow arch decorated with angels and other religious figures. You really have to pause here and admire. Inside, the nave has four bays lined with side aisles and chapels and with exquisitely installed stained-glass windows. The timber ceiling gives it a sober but stunning effects. The organ gallery and the choir together with the high altar completed the stunning interior. It has so much history and I highly recommend a visit for all ages and backgrounds. Not only a place of worship but a national treasure.
David Staines (5 years ago)
Very beautiful cathedral in the centre of Saintes. Lots if older gothic built into the later rebuilding in the 17th and 18th centuries. Well worth a visit.
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