Cathedrale St Pierre et St Paul , Nantes!!

In a wonderful historical city of the west of France , there are many monuments to see, many wonderful properties. I believe that this one is a must to visit in beautiful Nantes, Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of the region of Pays de la Loire, even if old Bretagne! Let me update/revise this old post from 2018 on the  Cathédrale St Pierre et St Paul de Nantes!


And I continue with my in-depth tour, of things that I have posted before in a general sense of a city, I feel that they deserve a single entry on their own.  I like to tell you about a wonderful Church Cathedral with lots of architecture and history inside. You can always do search in my blog ot find more about Nantes. Here is the latest entry on the Cathédrale de Saint Pierre et Saint Paul.


The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul , has some remarkable features, such as the presence of a well inside the building. In the past, water was to be fetch from this well in the Cathedral. To build the base of the pillars, granite, sturdier and more resistant to moisture than the Tufa stone, was used. The black spots are not due to the fire of  1972 but to the upwelling of the water. .  St. Peter and St. Paul’s Cathedral (also locally known as St. Peter’s Cathedral   It is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Nantes, seat of the  Bishop of Nantes. Bringing this up as folks saw this post and maybe overlook that in the morning of July 18 2020 ,there was a fire at the Cathedral for  malicious intention, with three different fires. Luckily , the fireman came in quickly and the fire was put out. Nevertheless the beautiful organs were gone completely burned as well as a portrait of the 17C. The Fondation du Patrimoineor heritage foundation has started a collection of funds to rebuild the organs. There still way to go to get it done: Webpage:


Now a bit of history I like

The site would have been initially occupied by a Druidic temple dedicated to Janus or “BouljanusSubsequently, three Christian religious buildings preceded the present Cathedral on the same premises:  A basilica built in the 4C, A first Cathedral, built in the current of the century and a second Romanesque Cathedral, built in the 11C. The current Cathedral is built on the site of the latter, gradually absorbing it.  The construction of the present Cathedral is under the impetus of the Duke of Brittany Jean V and Bishop Jean de Malestroit, who lay the first stone in 1434. The central gate that adorns the façade is completed in 1481, for the great masses. King Henri IV crossed it in 1598, when she passed through Nantes to sign the Edict of Tolerance or Nantes.   If the façade was completed at the end of the 15C, the towers were only in 1508; The nave and the collateral were also done at the beginning of the 16C, but the Gothic vault of the nave, the southern arm of the transept and the buttresses were completed in the 17C .

During the French revolution, the Cathedral was used as a military observation post at the Siege of Nantes in 1793. A 10-meters-high wooden tower is built on the south tower, and surveillance is ensured by means of a telescope. Military decisions are made based on the information obtained here. During this period, it was transformed into an arsenal and a stable, then a departmental decree of 1794 formally devotes it to the celebration of public feasts The cathedral is threatened with destruction in 1796, and it is envisaged to extend the Rue du Département (now Rue du Roi-Albert) straight line to the Rue Brutus ( now Rue Prémion) facing the castle. The intervention, as an expert, by Mathurin-Julien Grolleau, avoids the destruction of the Cathedral.  The demolition of the walls to the east of the city allowed the completion of the Cathedral in the 19C;: the north arm of the transept and the bedside were undertaken in 1840, the old Romanesque choir was shot down from 1876 and the old tower of the transept crusader in 1886. The Chandeliers of the nave are made around 1870. After 457 years of work, the Cathedral was finally inaugurated on 25 December 1891.

A bit of a description on the Cathedral…

The Cathedral St Peter and St Paul has the following dimensions:  A height:of 63 meters, interior mength: 103 meters; height of the nave under vaults: 37.5 meters. The facade of the Cathedral of Nantes is framed by two quite massive towers, at the top on the terrace. It presents some remarkable peculiarities, such as the presence of an external pulpit intended to preach to the crowds assembled on the square, or the organization in five gates to the richly decorated covings, three central and two lateral. The portals are dedicated, from north to south, to the affluent children (the Donatien and Rogatien martyrs), to Saint Peter, to the Last Judgement, to Saint Paul and finally to Saint Yves. 



The Crypt is an 11C Romanesque style dating from the time of the second Cathedral. Endowed with pillars, it reveals the origins of Romanesque architecture. Objects of worship are exhibited there: Ciboriums, chalices, censers. A Crypt of Bishops, evokes the Bishops of Nantes by their tomb. Below, four open rooms of the 19C retrace the history of the Cathedral. he great Organ the documents testify to the presence of an organ in the Cathedral as early as the 15C, when the building was erected. The organ at the origin of the present instrument for the central part and dates from 1619. Ordinary ceremonies are usually accompanied by the choir organ, also known as the “small organ”, which is nevertheless the largest accompaniment organ of France.



A must to see inside the Cathedral of Nantes:

It is possible to admire the tomb and the recumbents of Duke Francis II of Brittany and his wife Marguerite de Foix (parents of Anne of Brittany) executed at the beginning of the 16C. Considered a masterpiece of French sculpture, it establishes a link between the eras (from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance) and the regions (the Italian style meets and harmoniously blends with the French style). This marble tomb, took five years to achieve (1502-1507), is decorated with the Twelve Apostles and four women who represent strength, prudence, temperance, and justice. It is installed in the Cathedral in 1817. The Cathedral also houses the Cenotaph of General de Lamoricière, a monument erected in 1878 in papal homage to the services rendered by this child of the wealthy country.




An event of note with the Cathedral were that in front of the Cathedral, place Saint-Pierre, Nicolas Fouquet was arrested by d’Artagnan on September 5, 1661 by order of king Louis XIV. After having built Vaux-le-Vicomte and after some accusations of mishandling of money and jealousy.

Further, the Cathedral of Nantes is reach by line 4 of the Busway de Nantes at the station “Foch-Cathedral” in public transport. I would do it by Parking Cathedrale at Rue Sully.

Some additional webpages to help you plan your trip here and visit is a must to this wonderful Cathedral are

The official webpage of the Cathedral of Nantes:

The Nantes tourist office on the Cathedral:

There you go, do visit Nantes ,you will be glad and do come over to the Cathedral of Nantes!

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

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