Cathédrale St-Gatien

Church in Tours

With its flying buttresses, gargoyles and twin Renaissance-style towers (70m) – and, inside, Gothic vaulting, dazzling stained glass and huge baroque organ – this cathedral cuts a striking figure. Near the entrance you can pick up an English brochure on its architecture and history; English signs in the choir explain the luminous stained glass, some from the 13th century, other parts from the 21st.

On the north side is the Cloître de la Psalette, built from 1442 to 1524 (that's why it's partly Flamboyant Gothic and partly Renaissance). It once served as a scriptorium (for the copying of manuscripts) and a school of Gregorian chanting. A music-and-light show is projected on the west façade twice nightly in July (10.45pm and 11.15pm) and August (10.15pm and 10.45pm) and on the first two weekends of September (10pm and 10.30pm).


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