Discover Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes France

The construction of the Nantes Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul took over four centuries! The first stone was laid in 1434 and the building was almost completed in the 17th century. However, it wasn't until the 19th century and the demolition of the city's protective walls that it finally was, in 1891. The cathedral was indeed built near the castle, right beside the perimeter walls surrounding the medieval city. The Saint-Pierre Gate still stands next to it. This Late Gothic-style building, listed as a historical monument since 1862, has been subject to other hardships as well. The violent bombings of June 15th, 1944 caused major damage and the repairs were hardly finished when a fire burned off the roof in 1972.
However, the whiteness of the stone, accentuated by recent restoration work (2001-2008), the imposing dimensions of the building (the nave is 37.5m high, or 4m higher than Notre Dame in Paris), and the elegance of the immense inner pillars make it a truly remarkable building.
What you really cannot miss seeing inside is the tomb of François II, the last Duke of Brittany and his wife Marguerite of Foix. They were the parents of Anne of Brittany who, by marrying Charles VIII, was responsible for uniting Brittany and France. The many recumbent effigies are also remarkable. Two crypts, including a Romanesque one dating from the 11th century, can also be visited.

  • Nantes Cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes, Monuments, Nantes, The Loire region
    Nantes Cathedral

    Nantes Cathedral was built behind the castle, at the edge of the Medieval neighbourhood.

    © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
  • The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes, Monuments, Nantes, The Loire region
    The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul

    After an eventful 20th century, an intense renovation programme (2001-2008) helped rejuvenate the building's white colour and superb beauty.

    © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
  • The nave of Nantes Cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes, Monuments, Nantes, The Loire region
    The nave of Nantes Cathedral

    At 37.5 metres high, the long nave with its majestic pillars is remarkable.

    © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
  • A visit of the cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes, Monuments, Nantes, The Loire region
    A visit of the cathedral

    Access to the cathedral and the crypts is free but guided tours are organised by the tourism office at the weekend (and during the week in summer - free).

    © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
  • The tomb of François II of Brittany, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes, Monuments, Nantes, The Loire region
    The tomb of François II of Brittany

    It is in the right transept that you will find the building's most beautiful structure: the tomb of François II of Brittany and his wife Marguerite de Foix.

    © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
  • The cathedral's two recumbent effigies, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre et Saint-Paul de Nantes, Monuments, Nantes, The Loire region
    The cathedral's two recumbent effigies

    It was Anne of Brittany who commissioned the tomb to honour her parents. With its two recumbent effigies, it is considered a masterpiece of French sculpture.

    © Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination France

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