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

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en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael Goane. (2 years ago)
Beautiful church
Wouter Altena (2 years ago)
Beautiful and humbling experience the sheer beauty of precision of the cathedral and the hundreds of years spent to make it is brilliant. Perfect place to sit down and rest your legs to. MUST SEE
Jessica (2 years ago)
It was being disfigured by a scaffolding as we went to visit, but inside the cathedral is still beautiful and worth a stop if you are in the area. It is very well looked after and has beautiful exemples of architecture and art from the past.
Helen Elliot (3 years ago)
Beautiful cathedral inside with a particularly impressive church organ.
Omar Malik (3 years ago)
This is a really beautiful cathedral... Not ridiculously opulent but just right.
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