A little history of Saint-Sauveur cathedral in Aix-en-Provence

DetailDetail | ©Georges Seguin (Okki) / CC-BY-SA

The primitive building was a kind of small oratory known as Transfiguration du Sauveur ("Our Saviour Transfiguration"), built on an old temple dedicated to Apollo.

They later built a bigger church, because believers were more and more. In 731, Saracens plundered city of Aix, its cathedral as well... The building was reconstructed in 1057 thanks to bishop of Aix Rostagnus and chapter provost, Benedictus.

At the end of 11th century, our cathedral was finally consecrated! Benedictus put up a cloister not far from the cathedral and settled here with other monks, living under the rule of saint Augustine. Cathedral's choir was rebuilt in 1285.

The main nave dates back to 14th century, the third one to 17th century. Tower-bell dates back to the end of 15th century; it was built by architect Pierre de Burle. Portal first stone was laid down in 1476.

Did you know the cathedral has a treasure? A triptych completed by an artist from Avignon, Nicolas Froment. It represents the Burning bush. King René ordered it. This one left Anjou in 1471 to settle down in his earldom of Aix.

Indeed, René was count of Anjou, but also count of Provence! The triptych surmounted his tomb in Aix church of Grands-Carmes. Look at that! The artist represented René with his wife, Jeanne de Laval...