More of the Cathedrale St Pierre et St Paul de Nantes !!

We have come quite often to Nantes, a City that needs to be visited more by all. A wonderful historical city of my belle 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! You can always do search in my blog ot find more about Nantes. For now let me use some new older pictures in my blog with new text to tell you a bit more of the  Cathédrale St Pierre et St Paul de Nantes!

nantes cat st pierre st paul front door mar11


More than 1500 years of history are written around this St Peter and St Paul Cathedral, from the first pre-Romanesque cathedrals to contemporary restorations. With it unfolds the story of the first Christian communities, the epic of the Dukes of Brittany and the awareness of the heritage value of a historic monument to be completed and protected. A huge monument for Bretagne/Brittany too.


According to some written sources, a first cathedral would have been erected in the 6C. Between the 6C and the 9C, it is difficult to know what were the architectural evolutions of the pre-Romanesque cathedral. In 843, the cathedral was looted during a Viking raid ; a series of attacks ensued which ended in 936 when Alain Barbetorte, first Duke of Brittany, drove the Vikings out of Nantes, In 960, Bishop Guérech began the construction of a new cathedral whose appearance remains unknown today. It is likely that a crypt was dug under the choir at this time.


The current Crypt, the only vestige of the Romanesque cathedral, was fitted out to house the bodies of Saints Donatien and Rogatien as well as some of the relics of Saint Gohard. Today, this crypt serves as a place of exhibition for the treasury of the cathedral. It is made up of works of art and religious objects, silverware, liturgical ornaments and a freestone model of the cathedral dating from 1632. The lower Crypt, for its part, was dug the end of the 19C to serve as a foundation for the new neo-Gothic choir. It hosts a permanent exhibition tracing the history of the cathedral.


The construction of a sumptuous cathedral, reflecting the power, prosperity and ambitions of the duchy of Brittany, is fully in line with a new project. It was launched in 1434 by Duke Jean V and Bishop Jean de Malestroit. The frontispiece is made up of three portals decorated with decorations illustrating biblical scenes and characters. It is framed by two side portals dedicated to Breton saints: Donatien, Rogatien and Yves de Tréguier. Around 1520, the construction site was interrupted, due to a lack of financial means. At the beginning of the 17C, the construction site resumed, motivated by the reform of the Catholic Church and of the liturgy recommended by the Council of Trent. In 1626 the covering of the nave ,and the southern part of the transept 1642 were completed. The latter is pierced by a portal in its southern part which allows processions to cross the cathedral from south to north. A rood screen is high to hide the junction between the Gothic nave and the Romanesque choir. In the 18C, the vaults of the Crypt were destroyed in order to lower the level of the Romanesque choir. The space for the canons is thus enlarged and the faithful are closer to the altar.

During the French revolution, the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral suffered a lot of damage. It lost its original function and became a fodder store and then a military depot. Public festivals were, also celebrated there, which replace Christian ceremonies. The cathedral, already weakened by these degradations, was even more so when the powder magazine, installed in the castle of the Dukes, exploded. On December 25, 1891, the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul Cathedral was inaugurated.

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.

nantes cat st pierre st paul tomb of francois II and Marguerite de Foix mar11

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.

nantes cat st pierre st paul tomb général de Lamoricière side my13

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

Due to the fire of July 18, 2020, there is lead depollution work and the first restoration work on the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral are planned for 2023 and will primarily concern the choir of the Cathedral in order to reopen this first part for worship before a partial reopening which does not seem possible before 2025 or 2026, Therefore, the Cathedral is close for work until futher order which partially hoping for 2023.

The official St Peter and St Paul Cathedral of Nantes:

The Nantes tourist office on the Cathedral

This is a huge task more can be written about the cathedral so will let you read even if in French, more of this wonderful monument of Brittany and France, The Heritage Foundation of France on the Cathedral :

There you go folks, do visit Nantes ,and the St Peter and St Paul Cathedral is a must, you will be glad , And again ,hope you enjoy the post as I,

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

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