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dome
Charente 16
Alaric II
Battle of Vouillé
Angoulême Cathedral
Paul Abadie
Poitou-Charentes
Visigoths
Angoulême
Normans
arian
Clovis
Vikings
France
Musée d’Angoulême


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Angoulême - Cathédrale Saint-Pierre

Angoulême - Cathédrale Saint-Pierre
The Visigoths, who followed the arian version of Christianity, had built a cathedral here, dedicated to Saint-Saturnin. When Clovis took over the town, after his Frankish troops had beaten the Visigoths, led by Alaric II, in the Battle of Vouillé (507), he had the Visigothic church demolished to build a new one dedicated to Saint-Pierre and consecrated in 560.

This church burnt down, when the Vikings (aka Normans) sacked the town mid of the 8th century. A third cathedral was constructed and was consecrated in 1017. At the beginning of the 12th century, when the pilgrimage to Santiago boomed, this existing church was considered too small and too "humble".

The erection of the new, larger cathedral started in 1110 and was completed already in 1128. The church's original appearance was modified a couple of times later. The Wars of Religion caused great damage here, one of the towers got completely destroyed.

The restorations of the 19th century, led by Paul Abadie, ended in many more alterations. He even added the two flanking towers with conical tops, what Marcel Durliat did not like at all. Paul Abadie later built Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre. His restorations are disputed, where ever he worked (eg Sainte-Croix (Bordeaux), Saint-Front (Périgueux). Most of his works seem "overrenovated", following his idea of a medieval structure.

The dome over the cathedral´s crossing, seen from the top floor of the "Musée d’Angoulême".

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