La Cathédrale Saint-Pierre

Monument & Heritage Open in this Schedule (possibly closed due Covid-19 restrictions) Check location

Located in l’Écusson, the center of the old town of Montpellier, the Saint-Pierre cathedral is the most important Gothic monument in the city of Montpellier and the largest church in Languedoc-Roussillon. It was originally the chapel of the Saint-Benoît Saint-Germain Monastery-College, founded in 1364 and consecrated by Pope Urbain V of Avignon.

In 1536 the episcopal seat was transferred from Maguelone to Montpellier. The chapel becomes “Fort Saint-Pierre” because four towers rise up at the corners of the nave as well as numerous defense systems (path and machicolations) that make this building a true fortress used during the wars of religion. The monastery hosts the young faculty of medicine from this date.

The cathedral underwent many degradations during this period. Louis XIII in 1662 had the cathedral rebuilt. The vault, the pavement of the nave and the facade are remade. During the revolution, the cathedral was again ransacked. It will serve as a military warehouse and then as a stable.

Works led by Henri-Antoine Revoil from 1855 to 1875 resulted in the reconstruction of the bell-tower and the addition of radiant chapels within the choir, although it did not have the ambulatory originally planned. The roof of the choir was adorned with glazed tiles “in Burgundy fashion”. In 1875, the new cathedral was consecrated again.

Architecturally, Montpellier cathedral is a rare example of a cathedral made up of four towers, one of which was defeated in the wars of religion. The entrance, preceded by the massive porch, consisting of the two massive cylindrical piers and the vault connecting the pillars to the facade of the church are practically the only elements of the medieval architecture of the cathedral that can still be seen today. The gargoyles are not of medieval origin but were implanted in the 17th and 19th centuries. The cathedral has an outer length of 102.50 meters and a nave height of 28.50 meters.

Before the Protestant attacks, the ornamentation of the church was very rich. The major altar was surrounded by a gilded altarpiece. Inside the small sacristy there were wardrobes that preserved reliquaries, sacred vases and precious ornaments. Since 1775 there exists a neo-Gothic choir still present. There are 12 radiant chapels around the choir.

Finally the cathedral houses several works of art including The Fall of Simon the Magician, by Sébastien BOURDON, 1657.

Contacts & Details

1 Rue Saint-Pierre 34000 Montpellier

Sunday:

09:00 – 12:00

Monday:

09:30 – 12:00

14:30 – 18:30

Tuesday:

09:30 – 12:00

14:30 – 18:30

Wednesday:

09:30 – 12:00

14:30 – 18:30

Thursday:

09:30 – 12:00

14:30 – 18:30

Friday:

09:30 – 12:00

14:30 – 18:30

Saturday:

09:30 – 12:00

14:30 – 18:30