The mesmerizing Gothic façade of Tours Cathedral is among the most eye-catching architectural designs in the region. Its range of intriguing features dates from several time periods, between the 12th and 16th centuries. Learn about its fascinating history through the works of art dotted around the walls of its interior.
Take a look around the church to see its triple-naved interior. Marvel at the artistic treasures in the city’s spiritual home. Inspect the wonderful stained-glass windows from the 13th century. The panels of glass, which are of remarkable quality considering their age, tell stories from biblical passages. Bring binoculars for a better view of the artistic works. Make your way to the small cloister, from the Renaissance era, to the north of the cathedral
See the church’s grand organ, which dates back to the 16th century. Descend into the crypt to get a glimpse of the tomb of the children of King Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. Admire the statues by artist Girolamo da Fiesole on the Italian-style marble tomb.
Enjoy the serene ambiance of the building, as you sit on a pew beneath its high ceiling. Sit on a bench outside the church to gaze up at its magnificent façade. Its three grand entrances, twin towers and pediments are covered in ornate details. Contrast the Gothic style of the church with the neo-byzantine Saint Martin Basilica nearby.
The building is also known as Saint Gatien’s Cathedral, after a saint who died in the 3rd century. It opens daily from morning until evening and is free to enter.
The Tours Cathedral stands beside the main attractions right in the center of the city. Within just a few streets, there are the Museum of Fine Arts, the Tours Castle and Rue Colbert, where there are countless bars, cafés and shops. The cathedral is just to the south of the Aucard Island in the middle of the Loire River.