ST OMER’S NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL

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Notre-Dame Cathedral in Saint-Omer

Built from the 13th to the 16th century, St-Omer’s cathedral is the final great example of Gothic architecture in the northern provinces of France. For this reason, it was included on the first list of historical monuments in 1840. Its major features include its moderate size (100 m long and 50 m wide at the transept), a chevet in Romanesque style with separated radiating chapels, and the surprising “slanted” chapels at 45° from the junction between the ambulatory and the transept. Another distinctive feature is the 13th century choir walls with proportions and openings very different from those of the Chartres Cathedral, though built during the same period. The edifice also stands out due to its tower entrance that was unique to the 15th century and differs from the twin tower facade of most French cathedrals.

But its singularity goes further still, as it is one of those buildings that plunges you into a unique ambiance and another period from the moment you cross the threshold. No one will be left unmoved by both the abundance and quality of the decorations. On each side of the nave, the marble and alabaster cloisters of the lateral chapels are covered with stunning sculptures and a multiplicity of intricate details. These chapels are richly furnished with sculpted confessionals and baroque or classical paintings, funerary sculptures and statues, and even relics. The end of the nave is dressed by the pipes of an enormous organ, and its case is a 18th century masterpiece flanked by Rubens’ and Lebrun’s paintings at its right and left. In the northern transept, the astrolabe clock has stood the test of time, astounding visitors since 1558. The medieval adventure continues to more radiating chapels after crossing the cenotaph of  Saint Omer and the tomb of the bishop Erkembode.

Hours
March through September 8:30 AM – 6 PM
October through February 8:30 AM – 5 PM

Guided tours of the Cathedral
In July and August:
– Saturday evenings at 9:45 PM, from the southern entrance
– Sundays at 4:30 PM, from the courtyard at the Office of Tourism
– Duration 1 hour 30

Guided tours of the historic centre of Saint-Omer
In April, May, June and September:
– Sundays and bank holidays at 2:30 PM, from the courtyard of theOffice of Tourism
– Duration 1 hour 30.

In July and August:
– Wednesdays, Sundays and bank holidays at 2:30 PM, from the courtyard of the Office of         Tourism
– Duration 1 hour 30.

Joint visit of the historic centre of Saint-Omer and the Sandelin Museum
In July and August:
– Saturdays at 2:30 PM, from the courtyard of the Office of Tourism
– Duration 2 hours

Guided tours of the historic centre of Saint-Omer and the Cathedral
In July and August:
– Sundays and bank holidays at 2:30 PM, from the courtyard of the Office of Tourism
– Duration 3 hours

Price:
€5.50 for all the tours, €3.50 reduced rate for 15-25 year olds and students, free for the      unemployed and under 15
€10 for the joint visit tours

All the guided tours are led by guides from the Saint-Omer Land of Art and History Cultural Organisation.

More information

Labels :

Adresse : Enclave Notre-Dame

Code postal : 62500

Ville : Saint-Omer