Lisieux Cathedral

Lisieux, France

Lisieux Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre de Lisieux) is a former Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France. Built between 1170 and the middle of the 13th century through the initiative of Bishop Arnulf, the cathedral was the seat of the Bishop of Lisieux until the diocese of Lisieux was abolished under the Concordat of 1801 and merged into the Diocese of Bayeux.

The west front of the building consists of three portals surmounted by two towers. The south tower was built in the 16th century and at the top bears a 17th-century flèche. Buttresses were added to the south face in the 15th century. The cathedral survived World War II wholly intact.

An earlier cathedral is presumed to have existed since the 6th century, as there was a Bishop of Lisieux from that time, but nothing is known of the earlier edifice.

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Details

Founded: 1170
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Rafael Braga (3 years ago)
Beautiful!
Ermanno Paleari (4 years ago)
Gothic cathedral #XII sec. and restauration not scientific in the XIXth century# light, subtility of architecture give spiritual ascesis and perception of the infinity with gregorian music in far acoustic wawes. Simply a rare sensation.
Ras Patidar (4 years ago)
Historical place to see.
Bodog Sergiu (4 years ago)
Really nice
Rev. Drew Gregory Olson (5 years ago)
Most underrated pilgrimage site in Lisieux. Parish frequented by the Martin family. Chapel where Saint Therese attended daily mass and where she received her little revelation and desire to gather the blood dripping from the base of the crucifix as sign of love to give to others. The high altar was donated entirely by her father, Saint Louis Martin, who was quoted as stating that he had given his daughters to the Church and now, lacking a son, he at least was able to give an altar. He was also quoted as responding to a priest who said, "now we have the altar, a priest, all we lack is the victim (speaking about the Eucharist)" and Saint Louis Martin said, I am that victim. This was just three months before his health began to severely decline.
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Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.