Archive for the ‘Poitou-Charentes’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Cathedral St-Pierre in Poitiers

St. Peter’s Cathedral (The Cathédrale St-Pierre) is a 13th-century marvel, which is one of the most important tourist attractions in Poitiers. With an eclectic mixture of the Romanesque and the Gothic, this awe-inspiring Cathedral is not only a place of pilgrimage, but also a place where you can meditate in the tranquil and serene atmosphere of sacred sanctity. A Roman basilica stood here, until Henry II decided to get a magnificent cathedral built here in 1162. Well, he was the King of England, building a cathedral in France, even though his wife was Eleanor of Aquitaine, France. One can imagine the wars and the political turmoil going on in those medieval times, so it should not be any wonder that this Cathedral was completed and consecrated in 1379. So, it started out as a Romanesque masterpiece, and ended up a Gothic edifice with stunningly beautiful stained glass windows.

The sculptures in St. Michels door depict the progressive transition from 12th century architecture to 14th century creativity. All those who have seen the Cathedrals of Rheims , as well as Amiens are going to see a number of similarities here. You can also see a number of masterpieces including The Last Judgment here.

14th-century cathedrals had lots of carvings, pillars, choir stalls, aisles and also a lofty 30 m high ceiling. One wonders whether the carvings were of human beings requesting the sculptors to carve their features here, as they had contributed to the building of this magnificent building, either physically or financially.

The execution of St. Paul as well as the crucifixion of St. Peter is the subject of the two awe-inspiring stained glass windows. One can only be grateful that these amazing creations survived the depredation of wars, and even The Terror. You can also see a depiction of The Empty Tomb with the soldiers sleeping as women approach the sepulcher with jars to anoint and prepare the body of the crucified Christ.

The Cathédral de St.Pierre is located at Place de la Cathédrale, 86000 Poitiers, France. So remember to visit it, when in Poitiers. It is open from eight in the morning to 7: 30 in the evening, except in the winters when it closes at six.