Cathedral Saint-Luperc, Eauze visitor guide

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The Cathedral Saint-Luperc is the principal historic monument in the small town of Eauze in the north-west of the Gers deparment in south-west France.

Although it is still widely referred to as a cathedral, this religious monument no longer serves the role of a cathedral and is strictly speaking now a church, not a cathedral.

Explore the Cathedral Saint-Luperc in Eauze

France This Way review: although it is not a major religious monument, you will want to visit the cathedral of Saint-Luperc when you visit Eauze

facade of the cathedral of Saint-Luperc in Eauze

There was a bishop based here in Eauze as early as the third century, when the town (at that stage called Elusa) was the centre of Novempopulum, a Roman province established in this region. In the 7th centre the town had a bishop called Luperc, who was later sanctified, and the church is named for him.

By the 9th century, the town had been defeated as part of the Viking invsions, and the bishopric was transferred to the nearby town of Auch. Although the town of Eauze lost the right to call ther church a cathedral at this time, in the 19th century the bishop of Auch reinstated their right to refer to the church as a cathedral.

Although earlier churches and a monastery dedicated to Saint-Luperc existed from the 10th century, little is known of these earlier buildings (and there is no trace of these in the church we see today). The current church was built in this location in the late 15th and early 16th century by the Abbot Jean Marre.

This church was destroyed during the Wars of Religion in the late 16th century, and rebuilt over the following two centuries, so the actual cathedral of Saint-Luperc today is for the most part an 18th century reconstruction, although it has preserved an earlier style.

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The church is built in a gothic style typical of south-west France, called Gothic Meridional (southern gothic), that you will often see in towns in this region.

The cathedral is quite modest in size (the nave is 22 metres high and 55 metres long), and has a simple gothic exterior and little decoration except the gothic style carvings around the entrance and an octagonal belltower at the rear of the cathedral.

Inside the cathedral of Saint-Luperc there is a single nave, with chapels along the sides, leading to the choir area and apse. The nave and several chapels have interesting vaulted ceilings with ribs of stone.

The apse is the most interesting part of the interior, with a series of paintings showing events from the life of Christ, and tall stained glass windows depicting the prophets and apostles from the Bible.

Stained glass windows in the altar of the cathedral of Saint-Luperc in Eauze

Attractions nearby

In the town of Eauze you can explore the centre of the town and see several colombage houses from the medieval period.

You can find more travel ideas in the Gers guide and the Midi-Pyrenees guide.

See also: 

Photos of Cathedral Saint-Luperc, Eauze

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The French version of this page is at Cathedral Saint-Luperc, Eauze (Francais)

 
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