Saint-Pierre cathedral in Saintes was almost demolished
Did you know the first and the last bishop of Saintes were two martyrs? Eutrope in the 1th century and Pierre-Louis de La Rochefoucauld, killed in Paris in 1792...
The former church was a small oratory raised by Charlemagne in 777, then destroyed in a fire in 1026.
Rebuilt in 1117 by bishop of Saintes, Pierre de Confolens, it was consecrated in 1185 by Henri de Sully, archbishop of Bourges.
Then, bishop Guy de Rochechouart raised a new church in 1450, altered in the 14th and 15th centuries in Gothic style.
Protestants damaged it in 1568, and the building works were not finished.
Coligny and D'Andelot saved the tower-bell, because they put up a kind of bastion in it, where they kept an eye on enemies.
At that time, the church was gorgeous: for instance, the choir was full of golden tapestries!
The tradition says two small boat were filled with precious objects: they sent them to Angoulême, in order to save them from the Protestants!
Well... after that, the cathedral was restored between 1580 and 1585, then between the 17th and the 18th centuries.