Toulon Cathedral , Toulon , Architecture, Monuments Provence Attractions

Toulon Cathedral
Address - 55 Place de la Cathédrale - 83000
Type - Architecture, Monuments

In the central part of the old Toulon one can’t ignore the Cathedral of Our Lady (the full name is the Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds Toulon). The temple is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin. In 1997, it made a list of French historical monuments. The cathedral is one of the seven historic monuments, which provides Toulon.

Cathedrale Notre Dame de la Seds de Toulon FranceLocated near the beautiful waterfront, the Cathedral was built in the end of XI century (1096). The construction was started in accordance with the order of Gilbert de Boson, Count of Provence. Sanctification in honor of the Assumption of the Virgin was as well as the Count's will.

View of the Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds l is eclectic; it is a mixture of different architectural styles in the apparent predominance of architecture of the XVII century. It happened due to alter in the middle of the XVII century the original Romanesque buildings, united under the same roof with the Chapel of holy relics (three naves of the old church used as the spans for the new temple).

The orientation of the church building also has been changed, so the main portal became the south instead of the west. At the end of the XVII century it was built the facade in classical style, and then damaged during the events of the French Revolution. The Bell tower has been attached to the cathedral in the 40s of the XVIII century.

The Cathedral of Our Lady is divided inside into three naves of varying length with pointed arches. The distinctive feature is the unequal width aisles due to building restructuring. New altar of 1961 year stands in the main apse with built-in bas-relief from the old altar.

In Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds Toulon the choir is decorated with frescoes of «Moses and Elijah» (Moïse et Elie) and «The Twelve Apostles» (Les douze apôtres) by Ludovic Bonifay. Chapel of the Virgin (Chapelle de la Vierge), altar and the wooden gilded statue of XIX century made by Vian de Pignans are to the left of naves.

Altar, made by Pierre Puget first stood in the Corpus Christi Chapel, but when it burned down in a fire, it was replaced by the creation of Christophe Veyrier. At the same chapel you can see two large paintings - «The Triumph of the Eucharist» (Le Triomphe de l’Eucharistie) by Jean-Baptiste van Loo and «The Sacrifice of Melchisedech» (Le Sacrifice of Melchisédech) by Jean-Baptiste Achard that are surmounted by a bas-relief sculpture, taken from the altar 1746 during the realization of the 1863. As for the stained glass windows, it is the work of contemporary artists since old stained-glass windows have been lost during the World War II. It is also preserved the organ, established in the nineteenth century.

In 1543 a very rare event in the history of France has happened with the Cathedral Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds. For a while it «became» a mosque, where the Muslim corsairs prayed, sent by Hayreddin Barbarossa, an Ottoman Turkish admiral of the fleet, to Toulon before the military campaign in Italy.  (As it is known, in 1528, France has signed with Turkey the military alliance against the Habsburgs).

Later, the Toulon Cathedral became the Catholic again, but difficult «destiny» was waited for it. In 1707, during the War of the Spanish Succession, cannonballs had hit the building; the statues on the pediment were destroyed during the Revolution, and in 1944 the corner of the church of the Bell tower was damaged by bombing. 

Map - Toulon Cathedral

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