Top Rated Attractions Of The Cathedral

The Aix Cathedral has become a religious landmark in the region.

The history of the cathedral dates back to the 15th century. This historical cathedral houses historical artifacts that make it feel almost like a museum. There is a lot you can do in the Aix Cathedral and the surrounding Aix-en-Provence. However, there are specific attractions that draw in people from different parts of the world to see this edifice. Some of these attractions are highlighted below.

The Baptistery

Baptistery of Aix Cathedral (6th century). The columns are probably from a Roman temple that stood on the same site.

The baptistery rotunda is believed to be older than the Aix Cathedral by about 700 years. The baptistery was constructed from the beginning of the 5th century up until the 6th century.

The baptistery rotunda of the Aix cathedral is also one of the oldest in the nation. The baptistery is the area to the right as you enter into the Saint Sauveur Cathedral.

People who visit the baptistery are not just eager to see the octagonal basin but also to experience its ancient feel.

The Three Naves

The Aix Cathedral is unusual typically because of the three naves. Other cathedrals usually have one.

Even more interesting is the fact that the three naves are composed of different architectural elements from past centuries.

The main nave was erected around the 12th century in the Romanesque style just next to the baptistery. By the 15th century, the front of the nave was pulled down and replaced with a Gothic façade.

Inasmuch as these naves are similar, their architectural differences are crystal clear.

The Chancel Organ

Great organ © French Moments

The playing of the chancel organ during masses is majestic.

The green and gold organ case made of pine is imposing on the Gospel Wall of the chancel.

Although the case style dates back to 1745, the instrument was added in 1855.

Both the organ and the case have been classified by the Historic Monuments Commission. There is also a similar organ case in the opposite Epistle Wall of the cathedral, however, this is just a decoy of the one at the gospel wall and contains no instrument.

It was believed to be included for aesthetic reasons. 

Triptych Of The Burning Bush

Triptych of the Burning Bush, by Nicolas Froment

Almost everyone that goes to the Aix Cathedral wants to have a glimpse of the Triptych of the Burning Bush. Sadly, not everyone gets to see it because it is only opened on special days.

The painting is a 15th-century work of Nicolas Froment. It depicts the burning bush mentioned in the book of Exodus in the Bible. The only addition is the Virgin and Child sitting atop then burning bush.

The Bell Tower

Western Façade of St. Sauveur Cathedral, Aix-en-Provence © French Moments

The bell tower has a square base which rises to form an octagon combined with wide bays on each side. The foundation of the bell tower was believed to be laid somewhere around 1323.  

However, work on the tower was halted for close to a century for various reasons. The bell tower which took nearly a decade and a half to complete was partly restored in the 19th century to strengthen its integrity.

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