Vaison-la-Romaine Cathedral

Vaison-la-Romaine, France

The cathedral of Vaison was built on the ruins of a Roman temple, the remains of which can be seen outside the chevet. More than one church has existed on this site; a 6th-century basilica was destroyed by Frankish invaders.

The present building dates primarily from the 11th and 12th centuries. After a dispute with the Count of Toulouse in the late 12th century, the medieval city of Vaison was mostly abandoned for the new town. Today, little remains of the extensive medieval city except for the cathedral.

The apse is the most interesting aspect of the interior. Behind a simple stone altar, on a lower level than the nave, is the medieval bishop's throne and three semicircular benches for the canons. In front of the throne is an old sarcophagus containing the relics of St. Quenin (d. 578). The apse also contains several tomb niches of various styles and some reliquaries and statues.

The cloister, dating primarily from the mid-12th century, is a peaceful space with a lush central garden. The canons' buildings, such as the refectory and dormitory, have disappeared and many of the capitals were restored in the 19th century, but the cloister retains its medieval appearance and atmosphere. Most of the capitals are carved with foliage and vines, but some have charming creatures and human faces.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Simone Marani (4 months ago)
Chiesa romanica, semplice ed elegante. Chiostro stupendo
Gerdt Rohrbach (5 months ago)
Definitely visit! The L cloister in particular is worth a visit. Unfortunately, it seems to me that some of the capitals have been replaced by casts. The atmosphere of this place alone should be inhaled.
gregoire silvius (2 years ago)
cathedral.free entry. very pretty cloister... the base is built with ancient stone from a Roman temple. you can see them on angle. to the right.
Tom Colman (2 years ago)
Nice Roman architecture, very brute but beautifull.
Ally B (2 years ago)
Nice church with pleasant gardens
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