Meaux and the Cathedral of Saint Stephen or Cathédrale St Etienne!

I think is fitting that on this day Sunday December 24th 2017, I write once again about the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, or St Etienne in Meaux. I have written before in my blog on it bits of it, and now is time to write a bit more on this wonderful historical Cathedral on a special day awaiting our savior. Merry Christmas to all and best wishes from Paris1972-Versailles2003 to you and yours.

The Cathedral was built over a long period from 1170 to 1560; and is one of the best example of Gothic art in France. At the beginning it was built similar to the Cathedral of Evreux in Normandy; than came the war with the English and work stopped as the city was occupied from 1422 to 1439.  The north tower (60 meters high) was built but not the south tower between 1505 and 1540.   The Cathedral is 279 feet or 85 meters long by 98 feet or 30 meters wide and 187 feet or 48 meters high small compare to other Gothic Cathedrals. You see wonderful sculpture timpani on the western side (north) dedicated to St John the Baptist to the Virgin Mary on the south and the Last Judgment in the center. The transept facades are dedicated to the life of St Stephen. In the interior the decorations are very high and well noted the tomb of Bishop Bossuet, from 1682-1704. He was the personal confessor of king Louis XIV and was known as the Eagle of Meaux for his help of the city. In 1562 great destruction was done by the Huguenots. From 1834 to 1914 a big restoration project was undertaking as the stone of Varreddes were found to be weak in holding the weight.

In the choir you see the height of the decoration very well some 31 meters high; you see the remarkable stained glass of the Crucifixion (14C), the grand Rosary window (15C), a wonderful organ (17C). In the south Chapel you see the funerary stone of Jean Rose and his wife, also the tomb in stone of Jacques Bénigne Bossuet on the south side of the choir, the Eagle of Meaux.  There is a cabinet room of work of Bishop Bossuet built in 1670, it goes along fig trees promenade along the old ramparts.  There is even a Rose name after him or simply the Rose Bossuet and planted in the garden since 2004.

Tonite there will be a grand Mass at 22h30 or 10:30 pm in the Cathedral. The night of Christmas. Monday Christmas Day there will be another one at 10h30 or 10:30am.

A brief description and practical info is found in English here: http://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/en/1836-cathedrale-saint-etienne

Some of the famous who have relation to this Cathedral are:

Saint Denis (3C) : First bishop of Paris who came to evangelisize in the meldois city in the Roman period risking his life. He was beheaded in 260AD in the mount of mars that became Montmartre Sainte Geneviève (423-502 or 512AD, according to different sources) : Patron Saint of Paris. Ordered built a Church on the tomb of Saint Denis. Owner of lands in the Brie region, came several times to Meaux. Saint Faron (†669) : Bishop of  Meaux  in the 7C.  His relics at at nearby La Ferté-sous-Jouarre (77). Saint Fiacre (7C) : Monk and warrior of Irish descend and the patron saint of gardeners.  He was welcome by Saint Faron  that offered him land in the Brie region on the site of Breuil (Broilum), near Meaux, to built a monastery. Philippe de VITRY (1291-1361) : poet and musician, theologician of the Ars Nova ;bishop of Meaux  from 1351  until his death.  The before mentioned ; Jacques-Bénigne BOSSUET (1627-1704) : men of the Church, predicator, and writer; bishop of  Meaux  from 1682-1704.  He participated in the writing of the  Déclaration des Quatre Articles (1682) about the liberties of the Church and author of  Sermons sur la mort (1662), Oraisons funèbres (1669, 1670, 1683, 1685 and 1687, the most famous of speeches about death), Histoire des variations des Églises protestantes (1688), and Discours sur l’histoire universelle (1681) , Politique tirée de l’Écriture sainte (posthumously in 1709). Sébastien de BROSSARD (1655-1730) : theologician composer and librarian ; author of the first dictionary of music in the French language (Dictionnaire de musique, 1703) ; chapel master in the Cathedral under the bishory of  BOSSUET ,and Cardinal de BISSY (1657-1737), bishop of Meaux  from 1705 to his death.

The Cathedral Saint-Étienne has a wonderful organ and concerts are regularly held here. The original organ dates from the 17C and the buffet is from 1627 and was one of the most important of its time.  At the end of the 18C renovations are done by the most important names in organ construction. In 1985, the instrument is again renovated in deep traction and puts it at 33 keys on 2 keyboards. It continues renovation to the 67 keys and 5 keyboards on a metal belt. A fantastic acoustic Cathedral and great organ indeed.  Other than the FNAC stores or the hypermarkets like Carrefour, E Leclerc or Auchan my best site to check on concerts is ticketmaster here: https://www.ticketmaster.fr/en/resultat

The religious site of the diocese is here in French: http://catho77.fr/spip.php?article743

Info in French on the Cathedral from the city of Meaux: http://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme/balade-a-meaux/la-cathedrale.html

My previous post in my blog relating to the Cathedral is here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/02/24/meauxbrie-cheese-and-the-cathedral/

Enjoy this wonderful architectural building of France, the Cathedral of St Etienne or St Stephen is wonderful and the area around it is great; sure will do a nice 1-2 combination visiting Disneyland Paris even by bus Transdev bus 19 from the train station. More here: https://moovitapp.com/?from=Meaux&to=Disneyland%20Paris,%20Serris&fll=48.957133_2.873811&tll=48.85925_2.79488&customerId=4908&metroId=662&lang=fr

Also bus 69 takes you to shopping center mall Val d’Europe and there is a shuttle to the Disneyland; more here: http://marne-et-morin.groupe-espaces.com/fichiers/lignes/59-1.pdf

More on the bus network in the area: http://marne-et-morin.groupe-espaces.com/fichiers/reseaux/pays-de-meaux.pdf

The RER A takes you to Marne la Vallée and bus 19 to Meaux or vice versa.  The time on bus is less than an hour and on the express 19 can be as little as 27 minutes according to the bus sites. Just extra for info on those on public transports, of course with a car is a breeze about 25 minutes. Enjoy the Cathedral is worth it.

Cheers and Merry Christmas now we prepare for the good night meal on the 24th and the gifts on the 25th. Best wishes!!!

Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux Meaux

 

 

 

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