History of Churches and Cathedrals in the Lot et Garonne Nouvelle Aquitaine SW France.
A reflection on the stories told by holiday guests over the years here at Gone Fishin’ in the sunny Lot et Garonne.
This month we share with you The Cathedral Saint Caprais in Agen. Lot et Garonne Nouvelle Aquitaine.
But first breaking news …… Since early September 2019 the cathedral Saint Caprais in Agen has been the talk of the town. Why?
Well, it all started with the discovery of an ancient sarcophagus on September 3rd 2019 and then to top that they discovered 5 skeletons on 13th November 2019 . Pictures courtesy Sud Ouest paper.
The five skeletons lying on their back with one being a child and as expected by now the bones so brittle. All of this is openly displayed to passers by hence the talk of the town. When we have further details I will add to this article and update.
Built in the twelfth century, this cathedral Saint Caprais in Agen was ransacked so many times.
An eventful past and surprisingly there are still some treasures left, and it is not the only building worth seeing in the vicinity
The Cathedral was consecrated in 1802, Saint-Caprais and is classified in the world inheritance of Unesco under the heading “the roads of Saint Jacques de Compostela”.
Its architecture, predominantly Romanesque, is a reflection of its history and that of the city of Agen
Established 15 centuries ago as a basilica, then destroyed by the Normans in 853.
Again rebuilt, this time enlarged from the twelfth century, Then destroyed again by the Albigensians !
Again rebuilt, by the Protestants, then when the Revolution arrived even more destruction but only not to recover until the nineteenth century. Absolutely amazing history.
So much more history can be unearthed with more research.
The Cathedral Organ at Saint Caprais Agen
In 1855, restoration began on the organ at Saint Caprais , to be able to show off it had to be big so as to create prestige in the city. The house Stoltz and Schaff makes an advantageous proposal: They would deliver the organ they had built after they had unveiled it at World Fair held in Paris the same year. The Empress Eugenie , seduced by the idea, she then buys the organ and gives it to the parish.
In 1859, the organ is installed. With its three keyboards, and 45 games pedals, it is the largest in Lot-et-Garonne and hosts a festival every summer.
Richly decorated walls
In 1845 the painter Jean-Louis Bézard, Prix de Rome, was chosen to create the murals of the cathedral.
This took 14 years, he painted all the decor that affirms the character of the building largely inspired Sicilian churches and Byzantine art.
The French Revolution is over, religious art returns and all is normal.
The figures of the Bible, the iconography of Mary, are themes used by the painter is admired by all .
But there is much more to this story as it also presents the martyrdom of the saints Agenais , while revealing, in its way, the Catholic history of the Agenais.
We will next visit Marmande Notre Dame with our next guests … see you soon