Sainte-Marie d'Auch Cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral, has always been dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
A vast building with three naves, 102 metres long and 35 metres wide, it is the seat of the archdiocese of Auch.
Begun in July 1489 at the instigation of Francis of Savoy, on the ruins of the Romanesque Cathedral of St. Austindia, it was consecrated on February 12, 1548, but it took two centuries to complete its construction. Important works have been carried out in recent years.
In flamboyant Gothic style, strongly influenced by the Renaissance, it was completed at the end of the 17th century with a façade and a porch of Corinthian order. It comprises a group of 21 chapels.
It is especially remarkable by a series of eighteen glass canopies, works of Arnaud de Moles and by the woodwork of the choir including the 113 stalls, by unknown authors, which continue the continuation of the biblical scenes begun on the glass canopies.
The cathedral of Auch has been classified as a historical monument since 19062.
It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the Roads to Santiago de Compostela in France since 1998.
It is equipped with two organs from different periods, the great organ of Jean de Joyeuse being completed in June 1694.
It was restored from 1954 and inaugurated on 4 May 1958. A new restoration was undertaken in 1994 by Jean-François Muno to bring it back to its original sound. The organ was inaugurated on October 9, 1998.
The choir organ is a Cavaillé-Coll from the Romantic period.
In the crypt is the tomb of Saint-Leothade, bishop of Auch between 691 and 718, as well as the tombs of Saint-Austinde and Saint-Taurin, stone sarcophagi carved in the Renaissance style.
The crypt collected various relics before which the pilgrims of St. James, who were numerous in Auch until the 17th century and who could be accommodated in the St. James Hospital, came to pray in front of it.
Since July 2015, the cathedral of Sainte-Marie d'Auch has been home to a new museography, a stroll designed to help the public rediscover the richness of the episcopal treasure.
A treasure enriched by precious works that bear witness to the religious history of the Gers department is offered to the visitor with the help of multimedia devices such as interactive terminals or tablets.
Braille booklets and redesigned signage are also presented.
The superb half-timbered house next to the cathedral, which is home to the Tourist Office, is a must see.
Rue Arnaud de Moles,
Tel: 06 30 41 19 38
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