Built on the hill of Grand Bayonne, at the location of a burnt Romanesque cathedral, this flagship of the architectural heritage, a master work of the French Gothic art is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the roads to Santiago de Compostela. The works began in 1258 and was completed at the end of the Hundred Years War. You can contemplate the apse of the cathedral, the well restored superb stained-glass windows of the high windows, particularly in the Saint-Jérôme chapel, undoubtedly the best of the cathedral (1531): Christ casts the demon out of the body of the Canaanite woman there (it escapes in the form of a bat). Note a beautiful door knocker of the 13th century that you just need to seize not to be arrested after commiting larceny, called the asylum ring. Also famous for its two arrows added in the 19th century, genuine lighthouses of the sub-prefecture! Not to forget the bells that became famous of the cathedral. There was the bell called Sainte-Marie of 2 tons, cast in 1819 which gives C, the Saint-Léon bell, 900 kg, cast in 1955 sounding E,
Christ‑Roi of 500 kg cast in 1955, giving G, Sainte-Jeanne-d'Arc, 350 kg, at the same era and sounding A. Finally, the last arrival in 2003, first tenor bell cast in Europe for this millenium is called Saint-Jacques, it weighs 3,640 kg and complements this unit. "Bells, we need to be reminded, are the instrument of call that unites men." The sacred joining laymen, they are also the signal of the course of daily life. The latest one, manufactured in a Norman foundry and decorated by Marc-Antoine Orellana, displays a perfect mastery of the sound that we owe to the foundry man, Luigi Bergamo who respected the old-style bronze casting made up of 78% copper and 22% tin and is surrounded by a tuner in electronic spectrum, etc A few years later, during a storm, a lateral keystone collapsed, digging an impressive hole on the screed of the cathedral. It was restored after long months of work - 80 cm long for a weight of 900 kg, re-installed at 17 m high. The town of Bayonne and the DRAC Aquitaine, partners in developing historic monuments, during the installation of this keystone, explained the months that occupied this site of consolidation and reassembly. Mission accomplished. Since 2015, three major operations, financed by the State, were launched in order to maintain the superb building of Bayonne; restoration works of the facade, the nave, repair of the bell tower of the south tower damaged by humidity, and cleaning of the paintings of the chapels and walkways.
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