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Cathedrale Saint-Lizier, Saint-Lizier

4.4
#4 of 10 in Historic Sites in Ariege
Church Tourist Spot
Saint-Lizier Cathedral can refer to either of the two former co-cathedrals of the town of Saint-Lizier in France, Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Sède de Saint-Lizier) and St. Lizier's Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Lizier de Saint-Lizier), dedicated to Saint Lycerius (Saint Lizier), an early bishop of Couserans, after whom the town itself is also named.The town of Saint-Lizier, although now severely depopulated, was formerly the seat of the Bishop of Couserans. The diocese was abolished under civil constitution of the clergy in 1790, and confirmed by the Concordat of 1801.ArchitectureThe ChurchThe sanctuary is made up of a nave with three spans, without collateral or chapels, a transept and three apses. The nave has a deviation of the very apparent axis due to the origin of the absidioles. The central apse, preceded by a cradle vaulted, was built at the end of the 11th century. The two small lateral apses are of unequal depth, and are roughly constructed in two-meter-thick walls, showing an origin largely anterior to the 11th century. There are also two lateral towers of a Gallo-Roman gate, or of elements of a Frankish or Visigothic fortress.The central apse corresponding to the choir is vaulted in cul-de-four. The walls are covered with an exceptional set of Romanesque frescoes dating from the 11th century; Externally, the three apses are not ornamented: the apse presents three flat faces executed in particular with stones of great Roman apparatus and antique marbles recovered from the Gallo-Roman walls of the city.The nave, which dates from the 12th century, is constructed of rough stones up to two-thirds of the height. The walls were subsequently raised in several stages, particularly in the 13th and 15th centuries. The upper part of the walls is pierced with Gothic windows. This part, as well as the lateral buttresses and the vault dates back to the end of the 15th century.
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  • We spent a slightly wet afternoon exploring Saint-Lizier. All seemed closed down but we located the tourist office just outside the Cathedral which was open and we were given some useful information a...  more »
  • The cathedral is an impressive sight, and the surrounding village and hilltop 'palace' make for an awesome day trip. There are also a couple of great picnic spots if the weather is nice.  more »
  • Visit to view the architecture, or just paint or fish around the bridge. Glorious.try lunch here and visit the cathedral.  more »