Saint-Omer Cathedral

Saint-Omer, France

Saint-Omer Cathedral is a Roman Catholic former cathedral, a minor basilica. It was formerly the seat of the Bishop of Saint-Omer, but the see was not restored after the French Revolution, being instead absorbed into the Diocese of Arras under the Concordat of 1801. The church is still commonly referred to as the 'cathedral' however.

The cathedral is an excellent example of the flamboyant style of gothic architecture of the 13th, 14th and early 15th centuries. The substantial, square tower (15th-16th century) is reminiscent of perpendicular gothic towers in England, such was the cross-over of architectural styles in the period. A 12th century octagonal tower also survives from an earlier building. Despite the length it took to construct, the overall effect is remarkably harmonious and uniform, in part because of the use of the distinctive local white limestone.

The church is also well-known for its sculpture and furnishings. The highlight is the "Descent from the Cross" by Rubens, but it also has a working astrological clock from 1558, some stained glass from the 15th century, the tomb effigy of Saint Omer himself (13th century) and interestingly, a statue of God from Therouanne, dated to around the 13th century: his strange proportions reflect the original intention to place it 60ft from the ground. Both south and west doors have interesting decorative sculptures, including a 13th century Doom on the south door.

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Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

More Information

www.yelp.com
en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Stephanie Johnson (13 months ago)
Enjoy the cathedral each time we stay near by ,which is normally yearly ,I love the architecture of the church .
John Hanson (2 years ago)
Provided cool, calm solace on a scorching hot day. We motorbike riding pilgrims really enjoyed exploring the interior and the history of the place.
Adam Evans (2 years ago)
Stunning place in a beautiful little town. Would fully recommend the visit as there are plenty of other things to do in the town itself.
Alan W (2 years ago)
Wonderful historic place. I'm not a religious person, and you don't need to be to appreciate this. You can't help but admire a thing of beauty. So much to see here, and it's free! Well worth a donation after the visit, the way it should be. Ensure you take an hour out of your visit to stop by here, the gardens and town are within walking distance also. Quite magnificent. The architecture, stone work and stained glass windows are pure quality.
Peter Sprot (2 years ago)
Stunning is not sufficient to describe this cathedral. Breathtaking, even from the outside. Go in and it is beautiful beyond words then if that is not enough then look at the organ. Incredible. To miss this is to miss an experience of great proportion.
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