A little history of St-Pierre and St-Paul cathedral in Nantes

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The chevet - ©Florestan / CC-BY The chevet - ©Florestan / CC-BY
St-Pierre-St-Paul cathedral in Nantes Cathedral

Did you know the nave of the cathedral of Nantes (37 metres) is higher than Our-Lady of Paris' one? The first bishop of Nantes was called saint Clar and he raised a former church in the 3th century. Destroyed by Normans, the building was completely rebuilt in 939 by Alain Barbe-Torte, who expelled those barbarians from the city.

A first alteration came in the 12th century then duke Jean VI entirely rebuilt it in 1434: the old chevet was kept. In 1473, they finished the Western porch. But in 1525, they hadn't enough money to go on the building work: Nantes asked money to pope Adrian VI... In the 16th century, there was a small cemetery around the cathedral, surround by a simple little wall.

They extended this wall in 1592 and in 1611, then demolished it: they fit a square instead and raised a column with blazons of king and of Nantes' city. In short, in 1628, they started to build nave's vaults. Finally, the cathedral was finished in 1891, with its inauguration: a construction which took 5 centuries...


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