Coutances Cathedral is a Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral located in the town of Coutances in Normandy, France. It is the seat of the Bishop of Coutances and Avranches. At 80 meters or 295 feet tall, the cathedral is a striking fixture in the town and can be seen as far away as the Island of Jersey, which is around 14 miles away.
Coutances Cathedral History
The Coutances Cathedral is not the first church built in its location. The first church was built sometime in the 5th century. But it was destroyed in the 9th century by a Norman invasion and lay in ruins for the next 150 years.
Around mid-11th century, Robert, the bishop of Coutances during that time, started the rebuilding of a new cathedral. It was planned to have a Romanesque or Norman style. The cathedral was consecrated in 1056. But later on, the Romanesque suffered a devastating fire. It was sometime in 1210 when the present Gothic cathedral was built. The building retained the dimensions and much of the design of the earlier Romanesque cathedral. It was completed sometime in 1274. The new church also underwent several instances where it was damaged, especially during the different wars that came. But the main structure came out unscathed.
Coutances Cathedral Features
The current Coutances Cathedral is a predominantly designed as a Gothic style church. Btu the current structure has also incorporated what remained of the other cathedrals that stood before it, notably the Norman and Romanesque influences. The church stands 80 meters high. It contains a mix of features that remained from the different cathedrals of past. Some of the remains can still be seen from the walls and the towers of the present cathedral.
The cathedral features several chapels, of which the Chapel of Saint Laud is considered as the oldest part. It dates way back into the 13th century. The north transept of the cathedral features stained glass windows from the 13th century. The organ currently used in the church was built in 1728.