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Angoulême Cathedral

Angoulême Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Pierre d'Angoulême) is a religious building of Angoulême, Charente, France, an example of Romanesque architecture and sculpture in France. It is the seat of the Bishop of Angoulême.

A first cathedral was built on the site of a primitive, pre-Christian sanctuary, in the 4th century. The edifice was destroyed when the town was taken by Clovis after the Battle of Vouillé (507). Another cathedral was consecrated in 560, but this was also set on fire by the Vikings/Normans some two centuries later.

A third cathedral was then constructed under bishop Grimoard, abbot of Saint-Pierre de Brantôme. The new church was consecrated in 1017. However, at the beginning of the 12th century the citizens started to consider it too small for to the wealth of the county. The designer was bishop Gerard II, one of the most important French figures of the time, who was a professor, Papal legate for four popes and also a notable artist. Works began about 1110 and finished in 1128.

The church's original appearance was modified in the following centuries. One of the bell towers, for example, was destroyed during the Wars of Religion of the 16th century. Further alterations were made during the restorations by Paul Abadie in 1866-1885, including the addition of the two towers with conical tops, but the façade remains mostly medieval.

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Cathedrales in France