Gothic splendor: Amiens Cathedral, France (with Map & Photos)

The beautiful Notre Dame de Amiens or the Cathedral of Amiens (Cathédrale Notre-Dame d'Amiens) is one of the finest examples of French Gothic. It impresses with its complex, richly detailed yet very harmonious architecture that can be viewed for hours. The facades of the huge temple - by the way, the largest in France - are adorned with dozens of statues and bas-reliefs, which together form an exquisite design with thin, upward-looking outlines. At the same time, the temple has not only aesthetic value, but is also a place of pilgrimage - it contains the relics of John the Baptist and the canonized Bishop Firmin.

Amiens Cathedral
Amiens Cathedral

History

The construction of the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady of Amiens began around 1220 and was completed in 1269, although individual elements of both external and internal decoration appeared much later. Initially, another temple stood on this site, which was almost completely burned down in a fire. The need to restore it in a new, even more majestic form arose when the participants of the crusade returned to Amiens, having brought particles of the head of John the Baptist from Constantinople, and the city became an important religious center.

Amiens Cathedral
Amiens Cathedral

The development of the project was entrusted to the architect Robert de Luzarche, who initially supervised the construction, and then the business passed into the hands of Tom de Cormon and his son Renaud. In 1528, the Amiens temple suffered from lightning - it hit right into the spire, and it took a long time to fully restore this detail. In the 18th century, some changes were made to the design of the choir, and in the 19th century, the cathedral underwent a large-scale reconstruction, which lasted almost 25 years.

Amiens Cathedral
Amiens Cathedral

During both world wars, the building was preserved, and in the 1940s it was saved by a real miracle. Despite the fact that the city of Amiens was bombed and significantly destroyed, the temple survived and did without significant damage.


Interesting: the official date for the completion of the construction of Notre Dame de Amiens is considered to be 1269, but the year 1288 is indicated on the memorial stone in the center of the labyrinth laid out on the floor of the basilica.

Amiens Cathedral
Amiens Cathedral

How to get to Amiens Cathedral

The largest of the French Gothic churches is located in the center of Amiens. From any of the two railway stations in this city to the temple is no more than 15-20 minutes on foot.

Exact address: 30 Place Notre Dame, 80000 Amiens, France.

Amiens Cathedral on the map