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Notre Dame des Doms cathedral

The cathedral of Notre Dame des Doms d'Avignon was built in 1150, on the site of a primitive church of which there is no trace. It is the oldest monument in the Palace of the Popes square. Its style is Provençal Romanesque, but it has lost the purity of its original line with the changes it has undergone. The imposing statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the bell tower was erected in 1859.

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The cathedral's porch recalls ancient Roman architecture. The painter Simone Martini painted the preliminary sketches of a fresco depicting Christ Pancreator, which can still be seen above the door. The cathedral shelters many works of art (including paintings by Nicolas Mignard) and movable objects, as well as the tomb of Pope Benedict XII. Saint Thomas Aquinas was canonized in the cathedral by Pope John XXII.

The cathedral combines Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. The porch and nave are Romanesque, the Gothic chapels and the apse and balconies were rebuilt in Baroque style in 1672. The last renovation completed in 2016 revealed 13th century wall drawings and sculptures hidden behind a layer of lime.

The cathedral was elevated to the rank of a metropolis in 1475 when the bishop of Avignon was promoted to an archdiocese. The Metropolis was consecrated as a Minor Basilica in 1854 and the statue of the Protector Virgin of Avignon was placed at its summit in 1859, at a time when Marian worship was very popular. It is made of gold lead and weighs 4.5 tons, it was gilded again for the Great Jubilee of the year 2000.

On the square in front of the cathedral, the Calvary was built in the middle of the 19th century.

Notre Dame des Doms Avignon
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