Sunday, 28 April 2013

Church on Sunday...Saint-Gatien cathedral

Our visit to Tours this week reminded me that I had not actually featured this Loire Valley and Touraine treasure as our 'church on Sunday', so here it is!

Cathédrale Saint-Gatien de Tours, is dedicated to its first bishop. Its construction began in 1170 replacing another cathedral which had been burnt down in 1166 during the conflict between Louis VII of France and Henry II of England (who also ruled over the neighbouring French region of Anjou at the time).

Construction of the cathedral took a while; it was not completed until 1547 so what we have is a building made up styles spanning a number of centuries.

 The predominate style is 'Gothic' with the façade alone grabbing your attention immediately...the detail is amazing

Once inside you cannot fail to be did they build these buildings...could we do it now?

The nave.

The choir.

The stained glass windows,many from the 13th century, are are breathtaking...

with contributions from the 'Lobin' factory of Tours.

As you  walk around the cathedral you view various tombs including that of the children of Charles VIII and Anne de Bretagne.

The north transept contains the St.Martin altar...

and a fabulous rose window.

The south transept  hosts the cathedral organ.

Where's Joan?

Well, here she has her own altar, yet strangely in the guide to the cathedral she doesn't warrant a mention.

The outside of the cathedral is almost as impressive as the interior, with its Gothic windows...                  

and flying buttresses.

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