CATHEDRALE SAINT-PIERRE SAINT-PAUL

Historic site and monument ,  Cathedral ,  Church ,  Listed or registered (CNMHS) ,  Town of art and history at Troyes
  • It was in all likelihood the bishop Saint Loup who had the area's first cathedral built in the 5th century, in the southeast corner of the castrum (fort). It was nearly totally destroyed in 890 when the Normans torched Troyes. At the end of the 10th century, after a long and troubled period, Milon, the 44th bishop of Troyes, rebuilt the cathedral in the Roman style. But in 1188, another fire ravaged a large part of the city and the cathedral, the remains of which are now located under the present one, was also seriously damaged.
    An era of Christian fervour and technical innovation launched Gothic art in France in the 12th century. Starting in 1198, the bishops Garnier de Trainel and then Hervée (represented in a 13th century stained glass window in the choir) undertook the construction of one of the grandest and most beautiful cathedrals in France, beginning with the apse's chapels, on the site of the former Gallo-Roman ramparts. The transept was built in 1260 and the first spans of the nave were installed starting in 1310, but the project was interrupted by the Hundred Years War (1337-1453).
    In the 16th century, the final spans were placed in the old church. The west façade, a masterpiece by Martin Chambiges, a master mason from Paris, was finished in 1554, along with the base of the Saint-Pierre tower, which was not completed until 1634. During the construction, eight loggias were built along the building's wall for use by labourers and stonemasons. They were replaced in the 19th century by stalls where bread was sold.
    The Saint-Paul tower was never built because of a crisis in the Christian faith and a shortage of financing. Erected over a period of more than 400 years, the cathedral illustrates the various stages of the Gothic styles : Pure, Rayonnant and Flamboyant. But the ensemble is very homogenous and admirable both inside and out. At 114 metres long and 28.5 meters high, it is one of the most famous in France owing to its elegance, the quality of its sculptures, its paintings, tapestries and especially its stained-glass windows (1,500 m²). In the choir, the 13th century stained-glass windows represent Mary, Saint John, various episodes from the Bible and figures from the Middle Ages. In the nave, the Tree of Jesse (circa 1500), the Mystic Wine Press (1625) by Linard Gonthier and other leading works by this famous master stained-glass artist from Troyes (1565-1642) are on display. The sculpted wooden stalls of the choir (18th century) are from the Clairvaux abbey, as are the famous large organs (18th century).
    The cathedral houses a remarkable treasure, established in 1204 when Constantinople was sacked by the Crusaders. It includes an exceptional set of reliquaries, including that of Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, restored by Viollet le Duc, relics, Limousine enamels and other items of silver, including a Byzantine chest made of crimson-tinted ivory (11th century), the purses of the Counts of Champagne (13th - 14th century), enamels from the reliquary of Saint Loup (16th century), etc.
    It was in the cathedral that the “ Honteux Traité de Troyes ” (the shameful treaty of Troyes) was sworn in 1420, granting the crown of France to Henry V of England. On 10 July 1429, on this same spot, Joan of Arc secured the allegiance of the city for the young Charles VII in order to drive the English out of France,
    as indicated on a plaque at the foot of the tower.

    From this same place in 1536, Denis Bolori, a Troyes watchmaker of Italian origin, jumped off the tower in an attempt to fly, wearing a set of articulated wings, which held him aloft for several minutes, before crashing 1 km further eastward, at Saint-Parres-aux-Tertres. An unsung pioneer of aeronautics !
  • Environment
    • In the town centre
  • Quality standards
  • Medias
Services
  • Activities
    • Concerts
  • Services
    • Information
    • Self-guided visits (groups only)
    • Guided tours
    • Self-guided visits
Openings
  • From April 1, 2017
    until October 31, 2017
  • From November 1, 2017
    until March 31, 2018
  • Monday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 18:00
  • Tuesday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 18:00
  • Wednesday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 18:00
  • Thursday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 18:00
  • Friday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 18:00
  • Sunday
    14:00
    18:00
  • Monday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 17:00
  • Friday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday
    9:30 - 12:30
    14:00 - 17:00
  • Sunday
    14:00
    17:00
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