Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus

Carcassonne, France

The Basilica of Saints Nazarius and Celsus is a romanesque-gothic minor basilica, located in the citadel of Carcassonne. The original church is thought to have been constructed in the 6th century during the reign of Theodoric the Great, ruler of the Visigoths.

On 12 June 1096, Pope Urban II visited the town and blessed the building materials for the construction of the cathedral. Construction was completed in the first half of the twelfth century. It was built on the site of a Carolingian cathedral, of which no traces remain. The crypt too, despite its ancient appearance, dates from the new construction.

Around the end of the 13th century, during the rule of kings Philip III, Philip IV, and the episcopates of Pierre de Rochefort and Pierre Rodier, the cathedral was reconstructed in the Gothic style. It remained the cathedral of Carcassonne until 1803, when it lost the title to the present Carcassonne Cathedral.

The Church of Saints Nazarius and Celsus obtained the status of historical monument in 1840. Around this time, the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc renovated the church along with the rest of the citadel. In 1898, the church was elevated to a minor basilica.

The sandstone basilica's floor plan is based on a Latin cross, internally measuring 59 m in total length, 16 m in nave width, and 36 m along the transept. The oldest part of the church is the Romanesque tripartite nave. The main entrance in its north wall is formed by a Romanesque portal of five receding arches over two doors. A fortress façade forms the west wall, as is common for medieval Languedocian church buildings.

The transept and choir were rebuilt in the Gothic style. The larger windows in this part of the church permit a better illumination compared to the darker romansque nave. The central stained glass window of the choir from 1280 is one of the oldest ones in the south of France. Together with the upper trefoils (the Resurrection of Jesus and the Resurrection of the dead), it depicts the life of Jesus in 16 medallions.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1096
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

François Laporte (8 months ago)
By far... one of the most beautiful and impressive Basilique I have ever seen! And I have seen a lot ? including St Peters Rome, St Vitus Prague, St Stephen Vienna, Notre Dame Paris... There is something mystical and magical about this place! Perhaps the fact that it is within the medieval cité of Carcassonne.
Rich Lewis (9 months ago)
Well Worth a visit. Great selection of restaurants at good value . Great views over the countryside and of course the walled City
Fast Eddie (11 months ago)
Beautiful building. Formerly a cathedral but no longer has a resident bishop so has been given the honorific title of a basilica. Not only are the contents attractive it is a fine place to sit for a while on a hot summer day and cool down and unwind.Inspiring place to visit even if you are not religious.
Roberto Rodríguez Perrino (14 months ago)
Located in the heart of the city, this church is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. The interior is beautifully decorated with stained glass windows. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, and the church is a great place to relax and reflect. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in Carcassonne.
Juan Pimentel (14 months ago)
If you are in Toulouse, take a time to visit this church, really beautiful from outside and inside. The interior is beautiful, they kept the original walls and the art inside is definitely worth it to see.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mingarry Castle Ruins

Mingarry Castle was considered a strategically important site in terms of communication with overseas areas and as an entranceway to the Sound of Mull. Originally built in the 13th century for the Clan MacDonald of Ardnamurchan, the castle has had many different occupants. King James IV of Scotland used it as a stronghold for fighting off Clan Donald in the late 15th century. In 1515 the castle was besieged by the Clan MacDonald of Lochalsh and again two years later when they finally took the castle.

In 1588 the chief of the Clan MacLean of Duart resided there after capturing the chief of the Clan MacIan of Ardnamurchan. In 1588, one of the ships of the Spanish Armada, named the San Juan de Sicilia, landed on Mull and MacLean of Duart used troops from the ship to aid him in his warring against the MacDonalds of Clanranald and the MacIans of Ardnamurchan.