Gothic cathedral (Clermont-Ferrand, 15th century)

Gothic cathedral (Clermont-Ferrand, 15th century)

The cathedral named after the Assumption of Mary into Heaven is one of the gems of French Gothic architecture.

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Keywords

Gothic, Clermont-Ferrand, cathedral, Gothicism, Deschamps, residence, architecture, building, church, rose window, buttress, nave, sanctuary, arch, aisle, tower, pointed arch window, vault, bishop, France, Catholic, French, religious buildings, religion, monument, Middle Ages

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The Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady is the cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand, a French town in the Limagne valley in the Massif Central region. It was the site of the Catholic synod of 1095 led by Pope Urban II. It has been a bishopric since the 4th century but has only served as the seat of the Archbishops of Clermont since 2002. The first cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand, built in the 5th century, was destroyed and rebuilt several times.

In 1248, inspired by a visit to Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, the bishop ordered the erection of a new cathedral. Construction was led by Jean Deschamps, who had worked on the cathedrals at Narbonne and Limoges. Inspired by the cathedral giants of Beauvais and Amiens, he designed Clermont-Ferrand in the northern Gothic style.

However, the events of the following centuries prevented it from being completed. Most of the building had been finished by the 1400s, but the structure visible today was only completed in the 19th century.
The dark volcanic rock used as construction material lends the building a unique look.
The structural elements of the cathedral reflect the basic rules of Gothic architecture. The nave is flanked by two aisles, and crossed by a transept. It ends in a sanctuary.

The building is 99 m (324.8 ft) long, and its 96 m (315 ft) tall towers face West. These towers, together with the flying buttresses, dominate its exterior. The walls feature rose windows and windows with pointed arches, which was an innovation in Gothic architecture.

The interior is closed by a vaulted ceiling, supported by the external walls and clustered columns separating the nave from the aisles. The light enters the interior through two colorful rose windows, each 8.5 m (27.89 ft) in diameter.

Clermont-Ferrand is a wonderful example of the monumental Gothic cathedrals erected in Western Europe during the Late Middle Ages and still dominating their respective cityscapes and surroundings.

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