The Cathedral in the Cite within the Castle walls is a wonderful church with lots of goth, stained glass, wild water spouts and fine sculptures. The cathedral as it stands dates from the 11th Century, however, there is evidence of a church on this spot as far back as the 6th-7th Century. Some of the tombs are dated as far back as 1266.
Although we were quite early when we first arrived at the Basilique Saint-Nazaire we were already allowed to enter it. A huge advantage of our early arrival was the fact that there were almost no tourists at that time. Either the bus / coach had was still on his way or everybody was having a breakfast in their hotel. Whenever we visit a cathedral the kids always want to burn a candle, it has become a bit of a tradition. The sight of burning votive candles - real or electronic - is common in most Catholic cathedrals. The candles are usually placed before statues of saints or at shrines. But how did this tradition get its start?
According to A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals, by Ann Ball, the practice of lighting candles in order to obtain some favor probably has its origins in the custom of burning lights at the tombs of the martyrs in the catacombs. The lights burned as a sign of solidarity with Christians still on earth. Because the lights continually burned as a silent vigil, they became known as vigil lights. Vigil Lights (from the Latin vigilia, which means "waiting" or "watching") are traditionally accompanied by prayers of attention or waiting. Another common type of candle offering is the votive light. Such an offering is indicative of seeking some favor from the Lord or the saint before which the votive is placed. So for us lighting a candle is a way of extending our prayer and showing solidarity with the person on whose behalf our prayer is offered.
This amazing medieval walled city, called Carcassonne offers a wealth of monuments to visit and discover! Maybe it's even a bit hard where to start your hike and learn what it has to offer, it simply is so much and overwhelming. At least we could not miss the Basilique Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Carcassonne (Basilica), because it can be seen from everywhere in the citadel. It definately is a must see.
The first church in Carcassonne was built in the 6th century BC, but the church first appears in the official deeds in 925 BC. During the visit of the Pope in 1096 the stones were blessed and this allowed the community to built this cathedral. The construction was finished in the 12th century. We stood in front of this beautiful building and read on a plaque that only the main and side naves of the Romanesque cathedral remained as we could see it today. There were also some gothic changes and these were finished in the 14th century. After that numerous changes were made and it will be quite a boring tale to tell them all and I will lose your attention I guess :). But anyway, the last fact that is nice to tell is that in 1898 the Pope granted the title of basilica to the church. Tome to enter it!
Already ouitside the Basilique Saint-Nazaire we could hear some beautiful singing going on and we were eager to enter the basilica, beacuse we wanted to hear it in the amazing acoustic surrounding. We immediately saw five men singing and enjoying themselves at the nave of the basilica. There were also some spectators present and we joined them to have a closer watch. They really had beautiful singing capacity and a heart willing to serve in church through music. After a while we sat down and heared some more songs.
But we also wandered a bit in the basilica, because it has some beautiful features to offer. We saw the organ of 1652, the Stained glass window in the Sainte Croix Chapel, the Siege Stone (low-relief fragment illustrating a siege) and the Tomb of the Bishop Razouls (or Radulphe) made in the 13th century. And all this under the great sounds of the choir. Can you imagine a better visit to a basilica?
The Basilique Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse (Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse) was formerly the Cathedral of Carcassonne until 1.801 when it was replaced by the present Cathedral.
The present church is in origin a Romanesque of the 11th century and consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1.096. It was built on the site of a Carolingian Cathedral.
The church was created as the Cathedral , starting in Romanesque style in 1096 with construction of the nave. From 1269-1320 the elements of the apse were replaced by a Gothic chevet and transepts. In 1801 it lost its Cathedral status to the lower town and continued to fall into neglect and ruin. The west facade had a military mien which was restored by Viollet-le-Duc to its present appearance according to his extrapolations based on inaccurate available records.
I was thinking of giving the church a miss, but the rest of the crowd said, no we have to see it. It is an extremely large church and lovely and cool inside. Being used to ornate churches in Europe, I was quite amazed at how plain this one was. The church has beautiful large stained glass windows. On the walls there are many old gravestones + stone tablets. Entry is free. Maps of the church outlining points of interest are available for a small donation. Photography is allowed.
Built between the 11th and 12th Centuries, this church retains both Romanesque and Gothic elements. The stained glass windows date from 13th, 14th, 16th and 19th centuries. During my visit, part of the structure was covered by scaffolding used for renovation work.
As you walk inside LaCite', there are many wonderful sights and sounds as it is a hub of acitivity. People actually live inside the city. One of the most must-see buildings is the BASILIQUE SAINT-NAZAIRE and dates from the 5th century.
The south Rosette stained glass window comprises the weapons of the Pierre Bishop of Rochefort.
A mass is celebrated every Sunday at 11:00 a.m.
This is a lovely church............12th, 13th and 14th century. Its cathedral status was taken away in 1801. There are some beautiful Medieval stained glass windows (easy to tell from later glass, as they do not make coloured patterns on the floor when the sun shines through them), and statues sculpted out of the supporting columns. It's being restored at the moment, so I was unable to photograph the iron ring in one of the columns used to tie up horses during the Revolution, but you may be able to find it!
This basilica is situated at the south of "la Cite". In contradiction of most places there you can access it for free. Do mind that you are in Gods house and there may be people telling you to cover your body when you are inside? hehe! It was summer and my girlfriend had a short T-shirt which did not cover her back completely. Some old dirty B came to pull here T-shirt down, as God will be offended to see how beautiful his creations are :-)
Anyway, you are warned! Be a good girl and do not tease people with your body color?
When I entered the church I was surprised at how large it was inside.
The church has beautiful large stained glass windows. On the walls there are many old gravestones + stone tablets.
Entry is free. Maps of the church outlining points of interest are available for a small donation. Photography is allowed.
The highlights of this basilique are the graceful Gothic transept arms with a pair of supern 13th and 14th century rose windows at each end.
Within the walled city, this cathedral has particularly beautiful stained-glass windows. It also incorporates both Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles, with a 17th century organ.
The photo shows the basilica, which was constructed over a long period of time, so there's both Romanesque and Gothic styles involved. There's great stained glass windows inside.
Admission was free.