You could say that Saint-Pierre Cathedral in Saintes has had multiple lives…
You could say that Saint-Pierre Cathedral in Saintes has had multiple lives… Erected on the site of a Christian edifice dating from the High Middle Ages, it was rebuilt in the 13th and 15th centuries, ransacked by the Protestants in 1568 before it was even completed, and then later refurbished.
Nonetheless, it still has the look and the remnants of a gorgeous Flamboyant Gothic church, making it a real landmark in town! Moreover, its delicately sculpted western portal is very representative of Late Gothic sculpture in southwestern France.
At the base of the cathedral, your first surprise comes as you stand before the imposing monument: raise your eyes to the sky for a glimpse of its massive unfinished bell tower covered with zinc. Towering over the town from a height of nearly 58 metres, the bell tower-porch dominates the urban landscape of the former capital of Saintonge.
You will find pipe organ inside the cathedral, placed there in 1626. Installed on a tribune overlooking the nave, the organ has been a listed historic monument since 1973.