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Dijon Cathedral

Dijon Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Bénigne de Dijon), dedicated to Saint Benignus of Dijon, is a Roman Catholic cathedral, and national monument of France, located in the town of Dijon, Burgundy.

Originating as the church of the Abbey of St. Benignus, it became the seat of the Bishopric of Dijon during the French Revolution, and has been the seat of the succeeding Archbishopric of Dijon since the elevation of the former diocese in 2002.

The present Gothic cathedral was built between 1280 and 1325, and was dedicated on 9 April 1393.

The first church here was a basilica built over the falsely reported sarcophagus of Saint Benignus, which was placed in a crypt constructed for it by Saint Gregory of Langres in 511; the basilica over the crypt was completed in 535. This building became the centre of a monastic community. In 871 Isaac, Bishop of Langres, re-founded it as a Benedictine abbey, and restored the basilica at the same time.

In 989 Bruno, Bishop of Langres, requested Mayeul, Abbot of Cluny, to send monks to re-settle the abbey, grown decadent, as a Cluniac house. In 990 William of Volpiano was appointed the new abbot. By 1002, the ruin of the previous building had been razed and construction began on a new Romanesque structure designed by William, consisting of a subterranean church round the sarcophagus of Benignus, a ground floor church for worship, and a rotunda, 17 metres in diameter, on three levels in the place of the apse, linking the two. Dedicated in 1016 by Lambert I, this suite of buildings was decorated in the ornate Cluniac style, of which only a few traces survive.

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Cathedrales in France