The stupid fire of Notre-Dame cathedral in Sées
In 440, bishop saint Lain founded the former church dedicated to the Virgin. But in 910, Normans invaded the city and destroyed it.
Bishop Azon rebuilt the church, but meanwhile, bandits led by lord Guillaume Soreng and his sons seized the city and took shelter in the new cathedral.
Well, bishop Yves de Bellesmes, furious, decided in 1048 to burn houses near the cathedral, in order to expel the bandits! But the fire destroyed the cathedral too, which was built with wood!
Others blamed his foolishness, and the poor bishop promised ro re-raise the cathedral with his own money...
So, he asked his parents, and even the emperor of Constantinople, to give him gold!
In 1053, building works began. But the church collapsed in 1114, because they kept the burnt foundations... those foundations were too fragile!
Finally, the cathedral was finished in 1210, then it was dedicated 100 years later.
The nave dates back to the beginning of the 13th century, altered 50 years later. The choir dates back to 1230, altered in 1260 after the collapse.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, the cathedral was restored, but also in the 19th century: they found, during excavation plans, ashes and pieces of burnt shards!
A disciple of the architect Viollet-le-Duc, Ruprich-Robert, restored the cathedral.