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Cathédrale Saint-Lazare

Religious heritage, Non listed, Romanesque in Autun
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  • The Saint-Lazare cathedral in Autun, built in 1120, is a masterpiece of Romanesque art with its tympanum, chapels and capitals.

  • The heart of the city is in front of you, situated on the Compostela route starting in Vézelay, Autun was given a pilgrimage church in 1120 under the name of Saint Lazarus, whose relics it has had since the 10th century. Saint Lazarus was the friend of Christ, the risen one. It was the bishop of Autun, Gérard, who brought back the relics of the saint from the abbey of Saint-Victor in Marseille. Two centuries later, the construction of the church of Saint-Lazare made it an effective...
    The heart of the city is in front of you, situated on the Compostela route starting in Vézelay, Autun was given a pilgrimage church in 1120 under the name of Saint Lazarus, whose relics it has had since the 10th century. Saint Lazarus was the friend of Christ, the risen one. It was the bishop of Autun, Gérard, who brought back the relics of the saint from the abbey of Saint-Victor in Marseille. Two centuries later, the construction of the church of Saint-Lazare made it an effective communication tool. It was linked to the Basilica of Vézelay, which preserves the relics of Mary Magdalene, Lazarus' sister. In 1195, the building became a co-cathedral. Until the 18th century, Autun had a summer cathedral, from Easter to All Saints' Day (Saint-Lazare), and a winter cathedral, from All Saints' Day to Easter (Saint-Nazaire). The construction of this building was completed in 1147, with one objective: to attract pilgrims from Compostela to the city and thus promote the economic development of the city. The pilgrimage church was built on a plot of land granted by Duke Hugues II, near the cathedral of Saint-Nazaire, in the shape of a Latin cross. The side portal faces the entrance to the nave of Saint-Nazaire, thus creating a real route for pilgrims. The need to accommodate these pilgrims explains the unusual orientation of the church of Saint-Lazare. Indeed, its choir faces south and not east, towards Jerusalem, as most churches in France do. Entering through the side portal, pilgrims made a first stop at the Mary Magdalene Chapel and then a second one at the relics of Saint Lazarus. After a third stop at the Chapel of Saint Martha, they emerged under the tympanum of the Last Judgement. In the 15th century, the exterior of the cathedral was transformed with the addition of chapels between the buttresses of the building and the creation of a Gothic spire by Jean Rolin, culminating at 80 metres. The original plan consists of a seven-bay nave surrounded by aisles. The nave has three levels. Admire the beauty of the details and the grandeur of the construction. In 1469, a fire destroyed the cathedral, which explains the difference in construction from the second level onwards. The first level retains the Romanesque round-headed bays, while the second level is made up of Gothic lancets. In the side aisles are the funeral chapels created for the great local families. Look up and contemplate the richness of the sculptures in this monument. Look out for the historiated capitals, with their characters and monsters from biblical stories.
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  • From April 1, 2024
    until September 30, 2024
  • From October 1, 2024
    until December 31, 2024
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    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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    9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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    2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
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    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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