Don't forget to go inside the cathedrale. Many works of arts were destroyed during wars and revolutions, but the proportions of the long, narrow nave are still impressive. When the sun is shining, the interior bathes in a red glow, because of the many stained glass windows.
Bazas was an important stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, as the blood of St. John the Baptist was venerated here. This is why the cathedral is inscribed on UNESCO's world heritage list.
Most of the present building dates from the 13th and 14th century.The sculptured portals survived from the turmoil during the wars of religion, because the people of Bazas were prepared to pay a huge sum as redemption money. Especially the central portal, dedicated to the Last Judgement and St. John, is still in good condition. Many fine details, such as Herod's banquet, survived from the 13th century.
According to legend, a woman from Bazas,
who was in Palestine when the saint was beheaded,
collected a few drops of blood and brought them back to Bazas.
This holy relic was kept in this place of worship until the Revolution of 1789,
when a fanatic threw it into the latrines.
The top part of the Cathedral Square was inside the perimeter of the original fortified town. Then in the Middle Ages it was extended towards the west to accommodate a large market.
All around the square, magnificent houses have been built over the centuries by rich bougeois families. Each house is different from the others, which is one of the unusual features of the site.
One of these houses is in the Dutch style, which is rare in this part of the region. This is probably due to the presence of Dutch merchants in Aquitaine.
This magnificent cathedral, with its admirable triple portal and beautiful rose window was built, as it stands today, in 1233.
It was almost destroyed in 1561(during the War of the Religions) and again at the time of the Revolution in 1789. The statues of the gates were systematically destroyed as well as the total plundering of the cathedral and the episcopal palace.
It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
This is a new municipal museum which contains various examples of the history of Bazas along with the archeology of the area. It has many remarkable objects that date from the first Iron Age (sword, funeral urn, sarcophagus, potteries). It also has collections of religious and fine art and an amazing collection of apothecaries.
There is also an old dungeon wedged in the walls!
Most beautiful building on the main square, with stepped gable and astrological symbols above the windows. Don't know why the sun and moon look so sad.