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

keep calm (4 months ago)
Atmospheric and sombre interior. Impressive exterior. Nice gothic cathedral. Worth a visit and one of the sites in St Omer.
Gordano (2 years ago)
Got to vote a Cathedral 5 out of 5 or that’s just asking for trouble!
Celia Pacheco (2 years ago)
Very stunning area outside, including gardens. We came as a group and didn't manage to seee thee inside sadly, but worth a visit
Lilian Van den Brink (3 years ago)
beautiful!
Rowena Rowley (3 years ago)
A beautiful cathedral to appreciate for many reasons. Obviously a loved a cared for place, the old floor is incredible. Stone work and carvings everywhere.
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