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The Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Nantes is the largest Gothic cathedral in Nantes and throughout France. The cathedral is slightly lower than Notre Dame Cathedral.
The construction of the cathedral began in 1434 and lasted 457 years. Earlier on this site there was an early Christian Roman chapel, then a cathedral, built in the 6th century under the first bishop of Nantes, Saint Clair, consecrated by Felix I; and a cathedral in the Romanesque style, built in the 11th century, from which several column capitals have survived to this day.
Researchers divide the construction of the cathedral into 5 stages. In the first phase, the western facade and tower, the chapels and the south nave, the arched colonnade and the vaulted portal were built. The bell tower and vaults are decorated with the coat of arms of the Nantes Bishop Guillaume de Malestrois. These buildings are made in the early Flemish style. In the second phase of the cathedral's construction, the central nave, several chapels and the western wall were built. The third stage gave the cathedral a stained glass window (a gift from Queen Anne). At the fourth stage, the eastern part was completed and the construction of the southern transept began. The fifth stage is final, work on the main vault of the cathedral has been completed.
The modern cathedral began to be built in the 15th century, but the old buildings began to be demolished: the cathedral grew and absorbed them. In 1891, when construction was completed, the cathedral was consecrated by Bishop Lecoq.
The tallest building of the cathedral reaches 63 meters, five portals of the nave are richly decorated.
The parents of Anne of Breton were buried in the cathedral, their graves are crowned with a double tombstone, decorated with carved figures, which is a masterpiece of French sculpture.
The history of the cathedral is rich in events: in 1440 one of the marshals of France, Gilles de Rais, nicknamed Bluebeard, repented there before his execution.
In 1598, Henry IV was in the cathedral, who came to Nantes to sign the Edict of Nantes, and in 1661, Nicolas Fouquet was arrested in front of the cathedral. He was arrested by d'Artagnan by order of King Louis XIV.
During the occupation of Nantes in November 1940, the French flag was raised on one of the cathedral towers by the hero of the Resistance Michel Daba. The hero was extradited and shot, but this act lifted the spirits of the townspeople.
The cathedral suffered from the bombing of 1944, and during restoration work in 1972 it suffered from a fire. A significant part of the supporting structures was destroyed, the cathedral was closed and it took a very long time to restore. By September 2008, the appearance of the facades was finally restored.
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Topic: Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in France, resort of Nantes.