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.

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Details

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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Emilie Roberts (3 years ago)
Beautiful basilica in the Cité of Caracassonne. Gorgeous stained glass, intricately carved organ, a relatively modern but lovely statue of Jeanne d'Arc, and incredible architecture. It fits right in this incredible area.
Jay Budd (3 years ago)
Very good food friendly staff would recommend it to anyone
Natalie Daz (3 years ago)
The first church, built in the 6th century, has completely disappeared. The first written references to the present basilica date from 925. It has two architectural styles, Romanesque and Gothic. Inside the basilica there is a large organ (just when I walked in it was playing Christmas music, awesome!), of which there are references that already existed in 1637, considered one of the oldest in the French Midi.
진봉만 (3 years ago)
Wonderful place to see it can give you inspiration for ROME
Leon Denney (4 years ago)
Simply awesome and a great atmosphere to take a break to talk with my Lord.
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