Amiens Cathedral – the largest cathedral in France

Amiens Cathedral is located in France, and is the country’s largest cathedral, and the tallest among the gothic churches. This cathedral can be likened to Reims and Chartres and all of them demonstrate classical or high Gothic French cathedrals whose construction was during the 13th century. In 1981, it received World heritage Site from UNESCO for the harmony and beauty of the building’s architecture and art.

With regard to the history of this cathedral, the local legends claim that Amien’s first church was constructed in the 3rd century by Saint Firmin. When he became a martyr, he succeeded him. In this city, Saint Martin of Tours became baptized. He became famous for sharing his cloak with one beggar. Amiens’ first bishop was recorded in 364. The initial Christian community did not survive for long. Pagan barbarians wiped it out. The barbarians swept though the Northern part of France in 407.

Amiens Cathedral photo
Photo by Patrick Berden

Starting from the late 400s, it marked the time when Amiens started to be re-evangelized. This was under the Bishop of Reims, and was called Remi. The re-evangelization gained more intensity following the time when Clovis was converted to a Christian in 948. Bishop Ebidus was the first bishop to be known during the period. His presence is recorded to have been 511.

The details that are available concerning Churches belonging to the early period in Amiens are scanty. However, there are to worship places that are part of the present site belonging to the Reims cathedral.

Amiens Cathedral photo
Photo by keithhull

When most areas of the city were destroyed by fire, a Romanesque cathedral started to be constructed in 1137, while the consecration was in 1152. In this building, King Phillip II’s wedding was held, as well as that of Denmark’s Princess Ingeborg. In this period, the cathedral was a source of attraction local pilgrims that were respectable. This was due to the local saint’s relics, like Gentien, Victoric, Fuscien.

In 1206, Amiens turned out to among the pilgrimage destinations that are most important, in Europe. This was after Saint John the Baptist had the Crusaders bring him back from Constantinople. The cathedral’s key source of revenue became the impressive relic and this went for a number of years. This made possible for a grand Gothic cathedral to be built and that cathedral is still in place today.

Amiens Cathedral photo
Photo by Stan Parry

Amiens Cathedral West Facade Lighting

In 1218, the Romanesque cathedral was destroyed by fire. This was followed by another plan being made and the aim this time was to construct a building that was worth housing St. John’s head. The laying of the foundation of stone was in 1220 while the completion of the nave was in 1236. In 1269, the part that was unfinished was the towers’ tops.

The cathedral’s quick completion gave it the harmony of style which is recognized as unusual, and this among the characteristic that it is celebrated most for. The architectural design can be define as pure high gothic of which later architectural fads have little influence. Some of the subsequent changes include the completion for its west façade by adding two unequal towers.

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