Take Rue Jeanne d'Arc to visit Cathedrale Ste-Croix, this is the best way to approach it, to truly appreciate the structure. Not sure when or how often the flags go up along Rue Jeanne d'Arc, or what the represent, (maybe for the Joan of Arc Festival.) The day we arrived there were none and the next day early morning they were in place, this was in April. The cathedral is beautiful inside, particularly the chapels and stained glass windows, ten depict Joan of Arc’s life. The façade however, was the favourite part of the cathedral, it is stunning, with statues and relief work, while at the same time not overdone. Two blocks with bas reliefs of Joan of Arc, stand out the front each side of the cathedral.
There are claims the cathedral is built over the remains of a 4th century church, which also contained a piece of the True Cross obtained by St Helena. The first cathedral was built 7th century and named Sainte-Croix, which burnt down in 989. Construction for the replacement commenced in the 10th century, continuing until the 12th century. In 1278 part of the cathedral collapsed, rather than restoring the decision was made to build a new cathedral. Construction started in 1287 and was largely completed in the 14th century. The cathedral took a massive hit during the War of Religion, with the Huguenots blowing it up from the inside in 1568. Henri IV financed rebuilding and laid the cornerstone in 1601. Building once again continued, although it was interrupted during the French Revolution. It was officially inaugurated on May 8,1829, on the 400th anniversary of the liberation of Orleans by Joan of Arc. The length of the cathedral is 140 metres, width of the nave 40 metres and height of towers 88 metres.
The Gallery organ was built in 1631 and reconstructed in 1705, it was transferred to the cathedral in 1821/1822, from the Abbey of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire and has undergone many overhauls since.
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