Cathédrale Saint Etienne, Toulouse
The Saint Etienne Cathedral in Toulouse is a unique testimony of a building effort that spanned for more than 6 centuries.
Its construction debut is rather unclear but the general agreement places it in the 13th century. It is by the wishes of the newly elected bishop Bertrand de l'Isle-Jourdain that a new church should be built, that would rival the grand Parisian cathedrals. The architect that will accept this great endeavor is Jean Deschamps, the same architect that planned the Cathedrale of Narbonne and also worked on the Cathedrales de Clermant-Ferrand, Limoges and Rodez.
As a result of such a long construction process, and due to a fire that halted the construction progress in 1609, a dihotomic appearance is preserved both on the exterior and the interior. The main entrance is through the wide nave called Raymondine (the oldest part of the cathedral) which has a romanesque influence, while the second part consists of a long and vast choir, built in a northern gothic style, easily recognizable in many gothic cathedrals across Europe.
Entrance in the cathedral through the Raymondine nave
The gothic choir and Raymondine nave
The altar at the end the gothic choir
Saint Germaine Chapel
Notre Dame des Anges Chapel
"Rosace" window from 1270
La Vierge de Pitie (Gervais Drouet)
Most of the stained glass in the cathedral is from the 19th century but some parts are older, going back even to the 13th century.
Saint Etienne Cathedrale of Toulouse is exquisite not only because of its discrepant architecture which makes it one of a kind but also for the solemn grandiosity that propagates a cold, silent piety within its high arcades.