Archive for March 27th, 2019

March 27, 2019

The Cathedral of Saint-Caprais ,Agen

Well let me bring you south to a wonderful area ,the new region of Nouvelle Aquitaine and the historical town of Agen. Famous for its canal , see other posts, I like to give you a glimpse of its nice Saint Caprais’ Cathedral. 

The Cathedral of Saint-Caprais is located in Agen in the Department of Lot-et-Garonne, no 47 in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. Built in the 12C, it is the seat of the Diocese of Agen. It is time I give it credit in my blog, well worth a detour to this town and do not missed the Cathedral.

agen cat st caprais front

A bit of history I like

Saint Caprais was martyred shortly after Sainte Foy, in 303AD. They were allegedly buried at the site of the Church of Martrou. The tradition is that a Church in homage to Saint Caprais was built at the beginning of the 5C by Bishop Saint Dulcide, who would have transported the relics of the martyrs. A basilica dedicated to Saint Caprais existed in 580 because it was quoted by Gregory of Tours. The Saint-Caprais Cathedral was built in the 12C at the site of an Episcopal basilica built in the 6C, ransacked by the Normans. In 853 was renovated and ransacked again in 1561, during the Wars of Religion. The Collegiate Church of Saint-Caprais became in 1791 a fodder shop before being reopened in 1796 and becoming the official Cathedral of Agen, after the destruction of the ancient cathedral Saint-Étienne by the French revolution. It was raised to the rank of Cathedral in 1802. Again rebuilt, from 1838 to 1847, the south facade, the steeple and the interior floors.

A bit on the construction and architecture

The Cathedral of Saint-Caprais has several architectural features such as its Romanesque apse extended by a Gothic nave with a single aisle. Replacing an old wooden bell tower, the present bell tower was built in 1835, and presents the peculiarity of being composed of the three Gothic stylistic elements such as Gothic with lancets, radiant Gothic, flamboyant Gothic) oddly presented in their inverse chronological order. One can still see, in an angle of the north brace of the Cathedral a cul-de-lamp composed according to this principle, and which, on its own, is a small monument receiving two large shaping   warhead arch of a large range.


The paintings on the walls and ceilings represent the history of the coming of Christianity in the region. A central place is given to the first local martyrs. Other paintings are presented in series such as The Evangelists, the Apostles, the patriarchs of the Jewish people (Abraham, Noë…), the great kings of Israel..etc..

In 1829, the Chapel of the Virgin was done, and work on decoration continue until 1869. The rest of the decoration such as the paintings mix local themes and Marian iconography, the great figures of the Old Testament Bible and the New Testament as well.


The main organ built in 1855 for the Universal Exhibition of Paris.   According to the legend, it was offered by the Empress Eugénie in 1858 to the Cathedral St Caprais of Agen, which until then had no organ. It is the largest instrument in the dept 47 of the   Lot-et-Garonne, with 45 games distributed on 3 keyboards and a pedal. The Choir organ was built in 1885.

Some webpages as usual from me to help you plan your visit are

Official tourist office of dept 47 Lot et Garonne on the Cathedral

City of Agen on heritage in French

Official Diocese 47 on the Cathedral nice photos

There you go another gem in my belle France, south and nice, this is Agen. Very popular culinary town as well but that is another post.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!


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