Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Cahors, France. Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Cahors.



English: Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Cahors, France.
Français: Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Cahors.
Photo: 25 July 2011.
Source: Own work.
Author: Targut.
(Wikimedia Commons)



English: The Romanesque Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Cahors, France.
Español: Catedral de Cahors.
Français: La cathédrale romane Saint-Étienne à Cahors, France.
Photo: June 2005.
Source: Own work, formerly uploaded on WP-fr.
Author: Eric Gaba (Sting - fr:Sting)
(Wikimedia Commons)


Cahors Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Cahors) is a Roman Catholic Cathedral, and a National Monument of France, in the town of Cahors, Midi-Pyrénées, France. It is an impressive example of the transition between Late-Romanesque architecture and Gothic.

The Church was built by Bishop Gerard de Cardaillac in the 11th-Century, over a Church erected in the 7th-Century by Saint Didier of Cahors. It was Consecrated by Pope Calixtus II on 10 September 1119, and completed around 1135. The Church, located in the City's centre, has the sturdy appearance of a fortified edifice; at the time, the local Bishops were, in fact, also powerful Feudal Lords in their role as Counts and Barons of Cahors.




English: Cloisters of Cahors Cathedral, France.
Français: Cloître de Cahors (Lot, Midi-Pyrénées, France).
Photo: 13 September 2005 (original upload date).
Source: Originally from fr.wikipedia; Description page is/was here.
Author: Original uploader was Jaume at fr.wikipedia.
(Wikimedia Commons)





English: The Romanesque Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Cahors, France.
Français: La cathédrale romane Saint-Étienne à Cahors, France.
Photo: 2 August 2013.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)



The façade, renovated in 1316–1324 by Guillaume de Labroue, cousin of Pope John XXII, confirms this impression: it resembles a heavy Castle wall, consisting in a Porch, surmounted by a Bell Tower, enclosed between two Towers. The six windows, as well as those on the Porch sides, are rather narrow; the only elements characterising it as a Church are the magnificent Portal, with triple Splays, surmounted by a Gallery of small Arches, and the large Rose Window.



English: Romanesque Great West Door of Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Cahors, France.
Français: Portail roman de la cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Cahors.
Photo: 9 June 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: GO69.
(Wikimedia Commons)




English: Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Cahors, France.
Français: Cahors (Lot, France). Cathédrale Saint-Étienne.
Photo: 6 July 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: 
(Wikimedia Commons)



On the Northern side is a secondary façade in Romanesque Style, also fortified.

The well-illuminated Nave is 44 m long x 20 m wide. The two massive, 32 m-high, Domes, in Byzantines Style, resting on Pendentives, are supported by six huge Pilasters. Unusually, there is no Transept.

One of the Domes is decorated with 14th-Century frescoes, depicting the stoning of Saint Stephen, as well as eight Prophets, each riding an animal, in the fashion of Greek or Hindu deities. The walls have numerous other Mediaeval paintings.




English: Great West Door,
Saint Stephen's Cathedral, Cahors, France.
Français: Cahors (Lot, France).
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne.
Photo: 6 July 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: 
(Wikimedia Commons)


In Gothic Style on a Romanesque Base (to which belong the Columns with decorated Capitals), the Apse has three Chapels with sculptures. The complex forms a pleasant contrast between the White Apse and the colourful Stained-Glass Windows and the paintings of the Choir.

There are several tombs, such as that of Alain de Solminihac, and the precious Relic of the Holy Cap, which supposedly was worn by Christ and which was brought to France by Bishop Gerard de Cardillac after his trip to the Holy Land in 1113.




English: Stained-Glass Windows,
Saint Stephen's Cathedral,
Cahors, France.
Français: Cahors (Lot, France).
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne. Vitraux.
Photo: 6 July 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: 
(Wikimedia Commons)



A door on the Right of the Choir gives access to the Flamboyant Gothic-Style Cloister, built in 1504 by Bishop Anthony of Luzech. It has scenes of everyday life and a Madonna.

On the Western side is the Saint Gaubert Chapel, with the Vault decorated with Italian Renaissance paintings and, on the walls, 15th-Century frescoes representing The Last Judgement. It is now home to a Museum of Religious Art.




English: Side Altar,
Saint Stephen's Cathedral,
Cahors, France.
Français: Cahors (Lot, France).
Cathédrale Saint-Étienne. Vitraux.
Photo: 6 July 2010.
Source: Own work.
Author: 
(Wikimedia Commons)

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