Go to content

cathedrale saint-theodorit in uzes

Saint-Théodorit d'Uzès cathedral

Close to Nîmes and Avignon, Uzès offers a picturesque view of the Gard. Uzès, a beautiful town in southern France's Gard region, offers the chance to visit several historic monuments with remarkable architecture. Churches, cathedrals, period mansions, charming guest houses built from the same stone as the famous Pont du Gard... And even the historic Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit and its famous Fenestrelle tower.

The magnificent Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit towers majestically over the town of Uzès, in the Gard region of France. This architectural gem, steeped in history and spirituality, is a living testimony to artistic and religious evolution through the centuries. 

Bonus: the Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit d'Uzès is just opposite the Boutique Hôtel Entraigues****, with its terrace offering a 360° view of the magnificent Fenestrelle Tower. And just a 3-minute walk from the Place aux Herbes and its enchanting markets.

History of Uzès Cathedral

The genesis of Saint-Théodorit Cathedral dates back to the first centuries of Christianity, establishing its foundations on the remains of a Roman temple dedicated to Augustus. Over the centuries, this emblematic edifice has undergone many transformations, bearing witness to its evolution throughout history. Its name is a tribute to Saint Theodorit, bishop of Uzès in the 7th century, who is said to have played a significant role in the spread of Christianity in the region.

The cathedral's eventful history has placed it at the heart of many significant events, such as religious conflicts and wars of succession. Severely damaged during the Wars of Religion in the 16th century, it was subsequently carefully restored, preserving its sanctity and historical importance.

The first cathedral, in Romanesque style, was built from 1090 on the site of an ancient Roman temple, reflecting the influence of the abbey of Cluny. Partially destroyed during the Albigensian War in 1177, and again in 1563, the cathedral survived thanks to its 11th-century fenestration tower. Listed as a historic monument since 1862, it was rebuilt between 1642 and 1663, undergoing internal modifications after the Concordat of 1801, which transformed the bishopric of Uzès into a parish church. This last transformation gave the church its current function.

The entire building has been protected as a historic monument since July 1963, underlining its architectural and cultural importance.

Not far from there, in Nîmes, is another religious monument with an equally eventful past. The cathedral has had several names over the course of its history, starting with Sainte-Marie, then Notre Dame, and finally, during the Revolution, Saint Castor. Inside, visitors can discover the tombs of Cardinal de Bernis, Monseigneur Cohon, bishop of Nîmes, and a paleochristian marble sarcophagus.

Religious buildings were hard hit by the Wars of Religion. The cathedral was destroyed twice and rebuilt on its ruins. Remains of the 11th-century Romanesque church, such as the frieze, tower and a section of wall, as well as 17th-century neo-Gothic architectural elements and 19th-century renovations, bear witness to these eventful periods of reconstruction and renovation.

Architecture of Saint-Théodorit Cathedral

Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit represents a remarkable blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles, testifying to the talent and mastery of medieval craftsmen. The neo-Romanesque façade was added in 1873, adding a further touch of majesty to the building. 

Inside, the atmosphere is sober and elegant, in the Tuscan style. Visitors are greeted by pointed arches that add to the grandeur of the place, richly ornamented side chapels and colorful stained glass windows that bathe the sacred space in divine light.

Despite the loss of many of its components during the French Revolution, the organ, one of the finest in the region, remains virtually intact, framed by remarkably well-preserved original 17th-century painted shutters. Concerts are occasionally organized, allowing visitors to appreciate the exceptional quality of this historic organ. The chapels surrounding the choir still retain remarkable traces of paintings on their ceilings and walls, testifying to the artistic richness of the period.

The 42-metre-high Fenestrelle tower stands proudly as the cathedral's bell tower, representing a unique example of a round bell tower in France. Built in the 12th century, it was carefully restored in the 17th century after the ravages of the Wars of Religion. The yellow and green glazed tile roof adds to its picturesque charm, making it, along with the Château Ducal, one of the emblematic symbols of the town of Uzès. Monuments that are a gateway to the past.

Practical information

The Cathédrale Saint-Théodorit d'Uzès is much more than just a historical monument; it's a place of meditation, contemplation and discovery. Whether you're a believer or a lover of history and architecture, a visit to this medieval marvel is an unforgettable experience, a plunge into the twists and turns of time and spirituality. It's one of those churches you shouldn't hesitate to visit, and to round off your day in style, end it with a visit to the medieval garden. And don't forget to take a look at the other monuments to visit in Uzès.