Caudebec-en-Caux Church

Caudebec-en-Caux, France

Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, King Henry IV of France is said to have declared the church of Caudebec-en-Caux to have been the most beautiful chapel in his kingdom. The fact that it does not have a transept may explain why the king referred to it as a chapel not a church. Typical of the Flamboyant Gothic style, the highlight of this church is the finely decorated west portal. In all there are 333 sculptured human figures, representing saints and aspects of daily life. Of particular interest is the figure playing an old Norman musical instrument – the Loure, a kind of bag-pipe that is no longer played in Normandy. Sadly, much of this decoration was destroyed by the Calvinists during the Religious wars and then again later during World War Two, but it has since been restored.

Around the edge of the roof, and engraved in Gothic calligraphy is one of the verses of the Magnificat, also known as the Song of Mary and one of the oldest of the Christian hymns. Stained-glass windows date to the 15th and 16th centuries.

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Details

Founded: 15th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Valois Dynasty and Hundred Year's War (France)

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