Vienne Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Maurice, was the epicopal see of the primate of the ancient Septem Provinciae and of the Archdiocese of Vienne until its abolition confirmed by the Concordat of 1801. It today serves as co-cathedral of the Diocese of Grenoble-Vienne. The present-day building was erected from 1130 onwards.
Mentioned as the burial place of the Burgundian king Boso of Provence in 887, no traces are left from the former church buildings at the site. Construction works at Vienne Cathedral are documented under the tenure of Archbishop Léger from 1030 to 1070.
The construction of the preserved church was begun in a Late Romanesque style about 1130. Built over a long period, Gothic modifications and extensions were carried out until its consecration by Pope Innocent IV on 20 April 1251. From 1311, Pope Clement V convened the Council of Vienne, where the clergy resolved upon the dissolution of the Knights Templar. The facade was added in the 16th century, with the capstone ceremony held in 1529.
The present-day building is a basilica, with three aisles and an apse, but no ambulatory or transepts. The most striking portion is the west front, which rises majestically from a terrace overhanging the Rhône. However, the sculptural decoration was badly damaged by plundering Huguenot forces under Baron François de Beaumont in 1562, during the French Wars of Religion.
In the wake of the French Revolution, the Vienne archdiocese was dissolved and the former cathedral became a plain parish church, while the surrounding premises temporarily served as barns or barracks and eventually were demolished.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.