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Saint Pierre Cathedral in Angoulême has the particularity of being Romanesque and not Gothic like in so many other cities in France.

Historical monument since 1840

The exceptional quality of its architecture and its sculpted program make this 2008th century Romanesque building an essential destination for lovers of medieval art. Its restoration – begun in XNUMX – is coming to an end, giving the opportunity for an exciting (re)discovery.

It is the work of Girard de Blay, a powerful bishop from the beginning of the 1110th century who wanted to make the cathedral the setting and the symbol of his ambitions. The construction site lasted from 1136 to the death of Girard in XNUMX.
In the 1812th century, the cathedral was saved by Paul Abadie fils (1884 – 1852). The architect – who was also the architect of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre in Paris – tirelessly directed the first major restoration works from 1875 to XNUMX.

About twenty meters high, the screen facade with arcades, featuring several dozen sculpted figures, is a masterpiece of Romanesque art from the South-West.

Like a nod to today's Angoulême...

It evokes a large illustrated book where characters surrounded by arcades form the beginnings of a very first comic strip! Romanesque architecture is said to be a result of experimentation. The interior of Saint-Pierre Cathedral shows us once again! There is no dark barrel-vaulted nave or narrow aisles here… everything is light, space and amplitude.
Thanks to the restorations undertaken at the cathedral by the Companions of Saint James, the unconsecrated spaces of the south arm of the transept were chosen to house a Treasury whose collections of liturgical art objects testify to the popular fervor of the Nineteenth century.

The scenography of the Treasury was entrusted to one of the most prominent French contemporary artists on the international scene, the visual artist Jean Michel Othoniel. He imagined a route in three stations, from the Saint-Thibaut chapel to the bell tower room and magnified the collections in extravagant pearl furnishings.