Cambrai Cathedral

Cambrai, France

Cambrai Cathedral was built between 1696 and 1703 on the site of a former 11th century building, as the church of the Abbey of St-Sulpice. During the French Revolution the old cathedral of Cambrai was destroyed, but the abbey church survived because it was used as a Temple of Reason. When the ecclesiastical status of Cambrai was restored in 1802, albeit as a diocese rather than as an archdiocese, which it had previously been, the bishop"s seat was established in the surviving abbey church, which became the cathedral of Cambrai. Cambrai was again constituted an archbishopric in 1841.

The cathedral was severely damaged by fire in 1859, but at length restored, with advice from Viollet-le-Duc, and consecrated on 12 May 1894. The cathedral was also badly damaged in World War I and, not so seriously, in World War II.

It contains the tomb, by David d"Anger, of François Fénelon, who was archbishop from 1696 to 1715. The Cathedral is a minor pilgrimage site because of the noted Italo-Byzantine painting called 'Our Lady of Cambrai' or the Cambrai Madonna (c. 1340) in a side chapel.



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Founded: 1696-1703
Category: Religious sites in France


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Laurent Depreux (2 months ago)
Sarah Morris (2 years ago)
It wasn't open to see inside but it was stunning to look at definitely going back to check inside its 11th century stepped in history
Peter Van Renterghem (2 years ago)
Founded in the 11th century, this old abbey church of the Holy Sepulcher was rebuilt by Louis XIV from 1696 in the classical style he loved so much. One can admire particularly beautiful paintings in the trompe-l'oeil style by Martin Geeraerts depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ and from the life of the Virgin. There is also the icon of Our Lady of Grace , a work of art that has been around since the 15th century in the possession of Cambrai. The sacristy has wood paneling from the 18th century. The Cathedral is the final resting place of Fénelon. He died in Cambrai on January 7, 1715. François Fénelon was a French writer, archbishop, moralist, pulpit orator and adherent of quietism (turning away from the world). Because of his social criticism he was counted among the forerunners of the Enlightenment. His ideas were a direct impetus for philosophers such as Voltaire and Rousseau. Because of the emphasis on feeling and his poetic style, he can also be regarded as a precursor of Romanticism. His tomb is a work of the sculptor David van Angers.
Ben LearningExperience (3 years ago)
Nice cathedral with beautiful icons
Jakub Muraszko (3 years ago)
One of must-see places in Cambrai. Great example of old sacral architecture, with stunning atmosphere inside. Best to see in sunny day, great light inside for photography.
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