Once again, St Etienne of Meaux !!!

Oh this is wonderful ,unique Gothic in France. I am thrill to tell you it is in my beloved city of Meaux and a place never missed when in town, and we have been there so many times as it is the native town of my dear late wife Martine. I have written on it before but this is new text and older new pictures on the Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux!!!

meaux cat st etienne facade dec18

Looking at my vault, found pictures not in my blog yet, and they should be, Therefore, this is again another rendition to a great cathedral of France, the St Stephens’ Cathedral of Meaux, This is in Seine et Marne dept 77 of the region of Ïle de France ! Hope you enjoy the post as I. 

The construction of the St Stephens’ Cathedral of Meaux, began around 1170-1180, was not completed until 1530-1540 with the ringing of the bells in the bell tower of the North tower. It has an interior length of 85 meters. Height of the North tower is 60 meters, and under the vault of the nave is 31 meters. All you have to do is look up at the level of the western facade to observe its beauty. The south tower, also nicknamed the black tower, is intriguing. The 60-meter-high north tower is the last completed architectural element. A second tower should have been erected on the south side. Pending the work, a tower made of wood had been installed to temporarily to install the bells. Five centuries later, the one nicknamed the black tower is still in place and has become definitive.


In the center of the façade is a large Flamboyant Rose Window created in the 2nd half of the 15C. On the central door you find the Last Judgement, At the end of the transept, is the St Etienne portal, also called the Mercers portal. Its tympanum represents the life of this Saint, 1st Christian martyr. The second portal of the transept is also dedicated to St Etienne. It is currently closed, it is actually in the courtyard of the Episcopal City. A little further towards the apse, a so-called Maugarni gate opens onto the ambulatory of the cathedral choir. The Episcopal Ensemble has been endowed, on the other side of a vast courtyard, with a Palace accompanied by private gardens. The latter is best known for having sheltered, for a time, the famous Bossuet, then Bishop of Meaux.

meaux cat st etienne ceilings stained glass 2011

The French State is currently restoring the portal of the Last Judgment of Saint-Etienne in the Cathedral St Etienne in Meaux and is carrying out studies for the restoration of the black tower. It is, also, preparing the overhaul of the museography and the accessibility of the Bossuet Museum located in the Episcopal Palace , this work completed in 2021. The restoration will continue from 2022 with the southern western massif, including in particular the portal of the Virgin and the Black Tower of the cathedral.


I like to briefly tell you a bit of history on Meaux, hoping not to repeat, and I like it.

The Meldois people chose to established themeselves on a side of the Marne river founding Iatinum, capital of Pagus Meldicus. Meaux entered into history during the war of the Gaules in the first half of the 1C BC, It area covered about 200 hectares which place it second only to Paris. After the fall of the Roman empire, Meaux is known as the land of Saints which saw the first Saint called Céline, she is now the Patron Saint of Meaux. Here too passed Saint Colomban around 610, an Irish monk, founder of the monasteries of Lexeuil and Bobbio, and father of Saint Faron, This latter, became the first bishop and Count of Meaux, and had built the abbey of the Holy Cross that after his death was known by the abbey of Saint Faron.  Another Irish Saint Fiacre came to these lands and was given the lands of Breuil by Saint Faron, Later, Saint Fiacre becomes the Patron Saint of the Brie and gardeners, Meaux welcome the council of three provinces in 845 meaning Reims, Sens, and Bourges to determine the administration of the cult.

Meaux was also known as the cereal basket of Paris and capital of the Brie region, Finally, Meaux is attach to the Royal crown while Jeanne of Navarre marries Philippe le Bel on August 16 1284 ! Later came the most famous, the Eagle of Meaux Jacques Bénigne Bossuet name bishop of Meaux by king Louis XIV in 1681, The Brilliant eagle of Meaux, according to Voltaire gives sermons that shook the Cathedral on several occasions, During his 22 years of office he criss cross the countryside to speak the gospel to all while given a solid administration in Meaux. He died in Paris on April 12 1704, his body brought to Meaux where it rests in the Cathedral St Etienne near the main altar.

Meaux cat st etienne bishop bossuet tomb jun10

In full wartime, Napoléon I comes to Meaux on February 15 1814 staying in the bishop’s quarters where he wrote 21 letters ! By March 28 his troops abandoned Meaux and is the turn of the Prussian General Blïcher to arrived, In the Congress of Vienna 1815, there Tayllerand or Metternich elected the Brie de Meaux as the king of cheeses and prince of desserts ! By September 2, 1849 the train line Paris Meaux opened by Prince-Emperor Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, Meaux was liberated in WWII August 27 1977 by the armored division of commander Wolner US army, Today, Meaux is the biggest town in Seine et Marne dept 77.

And my French family on the side of my dear late wife Martine (native of Meaux) lives around it in small villages from Chambry, Etrepilly, Chauconin-Neufmontiers, and Nanteuil les Meaux.

The city of Meaux on the Cathedral: https://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme/balade-a-meaux/la-cathedrale.html

The Meaux country tourist office on the Cathedral : https://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/en/3416-cathedrale-saint-etienne

The Seine et Marne dept 77 tourist office on the Cathedral: https://www.seineetmarnevivreengrand.fr/explorer/727346/?private 

There you go folks, again, hope you enjoy this brief additional text on the St Stephens Cathedral of Meaux, and the beautiful older new pictures of it. The Cathédrale Saint Etienne de Meaux is a marvel of France and a must visit.

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

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