Notre-Dame Cathedral (Unesco World Heritage)
Architectural masterpiece of the mediaeval West, the Cathedral is one of the city’s not-to-be-missed places. The edifice’s gigantic proportions and the five massive towers speak for themselves. The nave and the transept, going back to the 12th century, are in the Romance style tinged with Norman and Rhenish influences. The choir, completed in 1254, is Gothic. This mixture of stone gives it undeniable originality.
The interior abounds in many decorative elements as well as some remarkable furniture. As an example, the side gates are decorated with Romance sculptures and a choir-wall was created by Corneille Devriendt (1572). The so-called Treasure Room (museum) is also of exceptional interest with the presence of major works such as the two great etchings of Notre-Dame and St. Eleutherius, precious ivories, pieces of gold and silverware, a 14th-century Arras tapestry, and so on.
Since 1999, important stabilisation and restoration work has been taking place. It has enabled archaeological digs to take place and in particular 11th-century tombs to be discovered there. This major monument of the city appears on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1999).
Some Figures… 134 metres in length, including 58 metres for the choir alone. The transept is 67 metres wide. The towers are 83 metres high.