Cathedrale de Coutances, Coutances

#9 of 72 in Historic Sites in Manche
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Regarded as a fine example of Gothic architecture, Cathedrale de Coutances is a Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral constructed from 1210 to 1274 that also incorporates the remains of an earlier Norman cathedral. It is a classic example of the Gothic style of Normandy in its use of long, straight, vertical lines. When you visit, you will find the site dominates the town of Coutances, especially when lit up at night, and can be seen from as far away as the island of Jersey.

One feature to keep in mind while you explore is that the central tower, or Iantern, is known locally as the Plomb. When Vauban, a famous French engineer, visited Coutances, he is said to have exclaimed that the man who built Cathedrale de Coutances must have been an "inspired fool". The Island of Jersey can also be seen from this tower. Work out when and for how long to visit Cathedrale de Coutances and other Coutances attractions using our handy Coutances trip itinerary builder.
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Cathedrale de Coutances reviews

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  • Someone was playing the organ. Not perfect but it gave the visit an extra dimension. Take yourself back in time. Forget about now, think about life in the middle ages. Let your fantasy go wild. It...  more »
  • Quite easy and free parking nearby, the cathedral is beautiful with very pure gothic architecture. There is a well preserved church organ in sculpted wood as well. Outside there is a display of...  more »
  • An astonishing granite building of surprising height. Started in the C11 and reconstructed in in the C12 in Gothic style. It has an unusual galleried central tower with fan vault supports. The ancient stained and painted glass is all original because it survived the allied bombing in June 1944 intact. Many religious paintings add to the atmosphere. A must-see iconic cathedral. Free to get in.
  • This Cathedral is amazing. You can setup a full visit with the office du tourisme of Coutances and when you get to the top of the flèche, you will have a complete view at 360° of the area around! And if you are lucky, you may listen to classical music here.

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