Cathedral Saint-Mammes, French Heritage monument to Langres

the description of the cathedral could take has it only a work of several volumes and abundant documentation available would make it possible to fill a house entiere. I thus took the party to release some extracts concerning his history and some comments relating to various restoration gift the cathedral was the object.

You will thus find an interpretation of its origin and the sometimes acid comments on the restoration of the 19th century.


The cathedral dediee under the invocation of Saint-Mammes, martyr, is the most remarkable monument that the diocese of Langres can offer to the archaeologist and the historian. If, of a dimension, the glory of its bishops, the old power of a Chapter which had in its centre so much famous men, ensure to him a place distinguee in the middle of the churches rich in memories; other, the merit of its architecture assigns a row not less high to him among works of Article.

The first question has to pose, and perhaps most difficult has to elucidate, about the cathedral of Langres, is the question of origin. At which precise time this monument it was built? All do its parts on the same date of construction?

The oldest monuments of the church of Langres teach us, that to the second century, Benigne saint having converted our glorious Saint-Twins, devoted an oratory under the invocation of Jean Saint the Evangelist. It was in this modest sanctuary, unknown with the pagan ones, that the neophytes of quotes of Lingons met during persecutions. The tradition as carries has to believe as the first church worthy of the name of cathedral was an old Jupiter Ammon temple, that the Christians dedierent has Saint Jean. Without knowing with the Juste the time of this dedicates, one can conjecture that it was made in the middle of the third century, during the life of Didier Saint, which also passes for founder of another church appelee of the name of the Madeleine, and later of that of the same founder.

The first cathedral was renversee in the bag of Langres by Chrocus, chief of cruel people, whose invasion is marquee by our legendary about year 264. On his ruins, one built another basilica in the honor of Jean Saint, about year 379, as an inscription consignee in all the chronicles langroises indicates it:

The year seventy nine and three Gratian taxable quotas the quarter Fonda emperor Reigning creative holy place of ceans In the name of nostre Priame Duc of France In Burgundy Chilperic roy All chrestiens have is engaged to it is thus into good foy.

This inscription, that the language of the fifteenth century would make suspecter innovation, is by no means meprisable, in the sense that it is the translation of another really ancient. Such is at least the feeling of the P. Vigner: it seems to us reasonable. '' The rimaillor, says it, claimed to return in French what it has finds some share written as good Latin and these terms or other equivalents: '' Anno ab incarnatione Domini trecentesimo septuagesimo nono, Gratiano quartum '' imperante, fundalum is hoc templum, etc, because indeed, year 359 of Nostre Seigneur respond at the fourth year of the reign of Gratian, since the death of Valentinian which died year 575. '' Undoubtedly this church did not remain a long time. Attila, at the time of his retirement, in 451, reduced Langres in a heap of ruins, and it has to believe that the basilica was entirely destroyed or strong endommagee in this circumstance. At all events, we do not know any detail about its restoration or its rebuilding after this terrible event; but it is on at the sixth century, a cathedral existed, since we read in the old legend of Gregoire Saint, that sheep, having its gold toyson, of which remains still some idea and vestige of the construction of its temple, in the aforementioned episcopal church, by the pillars or rods of columns which are seen there; one each one estante of only one piere has to know of stones or melted stones, inventjon which was lost. '' It acts of the columns of the chorus, at the bottom of the apse. Observations of equal value follow.

In 738, under Charles Martel, with the testimony of the Javernault lawyer, Charlet and other chroniclers, Sarrazins are trouverent rather strong, after their defeat with the battle of Turns, to cross most of France. They saccagerent, in their retirement, the towns of Autun, of Dijon and Langres. This time still the church was not epargnee; we are all the more persuade that the historians place twenty years after, some dedicates church of Langres under the patronage of Saint-Mammes of which quotes it had received, in 758, during the episcopate of Vandier, a badge relic. The oldest charter that we had, that which gave Louis Debonnaire, in 814, notes the existence of the title of Saint-Mammes: '' Munitionem Lingonicse civitatis ubi babetur ecclesia in honours Sancti Mammetis, eximii martyris. '' The translation of similar relics, don't the changes of terms usually accompany with the Middle Ages, the construction of a new church? There is thus here, better than conjectures, to support that, under the Vandier bishop, our quotes saw building a fourth cathedral. Which fate did it undergo? It crossed several centuries and remained upright until the era opened by the last hour of the year 1000, whereas the people left vain terrors of the end of the world, undertook of all shares, the construction of news and vast basilicas. Our conviction, founded mainly on archaeology, borrows also lights from the history. Charlet ensures us that '' the Raynard bishop made, in 1075, the voyage from Constantinople, and obtained from the emperor an arm of Saint-Mammes richly enchases, that it brought has Langres triumphs '' over it. Of his dimension, the Gaultherot lawyer adds that same Raynard '' made wish make bear to the church cathedral the name of Saint-Mammes, '' and that pursuant to this promise, the bishop Garnier '' dedicated the cathedral under the invocation of Saint-Mammes, on July 22, 1196, in the presence of several abbots, of the duke of Bourgongne, the lords of Grancey, Thilchastel, Borlemont, and several others of Bourgongne and Champagne. '' Would it Have dedicates has Saint-Mammes a cathedral which to already was him dediee? Not, undoubtedly; it is thus about a new cathedral. If it were not included/understood, if one has diverts the direction of the word dedicates, it is that one wrote with an preconceived idea. Here what it is easy to disentangle in the account of these writers, and what agrees has wonder with the archaeological data. At the time of the voyage of Raynard and translation of the invaluable relic, it days ago of enthusiasm, and the splendid work of the chorus was finishes. Garnier made the dedication of the monument later only one century; as we have the material proof as work was stopped, and that, consequently, the naves could be achevees only with the distance from a certain number of years. However, we are not unaware of it, the historical documents are not positive, and same the authors who have just provided us an argument, according to us peremptory, believe, like all the chroniclers of Langres, which the current cathedral is that of which it is question as of the fourth century. We made a scrupulous reading of Gaultherot and Tabourot: these scientists men have advance the opinion that we fight; they are not based on a real tradition, but on parts without authenticity 1, and on the comparison between the pagan buildings and some ornaments of Saint-Mammes. It is not astonishing that they were mislaid, because the phases of architecture to the Middle Ages were of their time perfectly unknown. The written monuments had been the way to leave the error; but they missed and miss still today, because they were destroyed, we will say it, well before the time or flowered the above mentioned authors. The P. Vignier, the canon Thibaut, the Charlet abbot, Pietrequin de Gilley, the Mathieu abbot, Xavier d' Regel, marry with more or less concern, the same feeling, and no one does not provide a new element for a satisfactory solution.

Various chronicles

The cathedral of Langres, this monument so worthy of all the solicitude of the government, finally will be consolidee and to start has to be raised of the deplorable state or the incurie had drops it. Mr. de Contenoin, director of the administration of the worships, has it placee, in a report/ratio addresses this year to the minister, among the cathedrals of France which claim most pressing and most important repairs. Already one has entreats the danger of his fall by stays which support the staggering buttresses of them, and one ensures that more considerable work will not delay has to be undertaken there.

In 1850 an organ of accompaniment was place beside the chorus, under the large septentrional arcade. The made excavations on this occasion have brings the discovery of the tomb of Jean IV of Arcis, sixty-ten-seventh bishop of Langres, died in 1344. The statue of this bishop was lying on the tombstone which recovered its bones. The style of the sculpture confirmed the historical testimony which assigns this site with the burial of this character. A brilliant painting covered the stone, and the head of the statue rested on a rich person pillow. Unfortunately this interesting work had been put of pieces that it was impossible to join together so as to restore the monument. Public indignation was soulevee with the sight of an example of the impious vandalism which, same before 93, carried a hand sacrilege on the basilica of Saint-Mammes. The organ, from which we come to speak, left the Ducroquet house (street Sainl-Maur, has Paris). The dresser was carries out within Mr. Maquet, architect of the government, by skilful workmen langrois. This work has merit of any point of the praises. The same factor has place with the convent of the Ladies of the Saint-Child-Jesus an organ interesting for the archaeologist. It is old and of English invoice; its pipes of tin gilds glitter within a framework in mahogany tree of ogival style. This instrument was useful, says one, at the time of the baptism of the count de Paris.

By the care of Mr. Barbier, architect, inspector of the monuments diocesans, the bottom of the chorus of Saint-Mammes was removes from the white paint and yellow which partly destroyed the effect of its architecture. A transparent colour, and approaching the ton of the stone, has succeeds the thick mortar bed; it is easy maintaining to understand how much it would be desirable that one continuat this operation for the remainder of the building.

Very-considerable repairs were made with the cathedral of Langres, into 1854,1855,1830 and 1857, on the funds allocate by the Minister of religion. The wall of the northern side was rebuilt between the door of north and the transept. The buttresses of the nave which bent under the push of propping up were widened and raise, several propping up were rebuilt. A gallery has open sky has replaces the covered gallery which reigned, of the dimension of north, above the walls of the nave, close to the roof, and was intended has to facilitate circulation in the event of fire. The church inside was degagee various paints which recovered the walls, and the capitals and the vaults were restore. One opened a door in the southern part close to the transept. The vault of catechisms which had been built in the south of the church, in 1837, was demolished. One has starts has to remove the slate cover and to replace it by a tiled roof vernissees. The ogival windows of the apse were remplacees by windows has full-clotheshanger, one has carries out, inside the church, of the doors cintrees in masonry at the ends of collateral, under the arcades which support the wall is turns of the gate. Lastly, one demolished the old room of the treasure of the charters and the sacristy which must be rebuilt on the same site.

All work of masonry was tres-bien carry out and with much more care than work which had been made previously with the Saint-Mammes cathedral; but have must consider it regrettable that the architects responsibilities of direct these repairs made innovations and are not in conformity with the style of this church which is perfectly characterizes. Thus, the openings which give on the established gallery, outside, on the wall of the nave, were empruntees with the church Notre-Dame de Paris, built one quite posterior time with the cathedral of Langres has, and are in dissension with the remainder of the building. The small shelters, which one has surmounts the buttresses of the nave, were carve and are not harmonizes some with the walls external of the nave on which one notices no sculpture. The windows which light the sides were abaissees of approximately 0m50 and one does not include/understand why one has makes this modification to the primitive costruction. Some capitals which surmount the pilasters of the nave and the sides were not remade exactly such as they were. The windows cintrees, which were restored with the apse, are accompagnees, outside, of two pilasters of each dimension which make a very bad impression and are not in connection with the other windows of the church. The open door in the collateral one of the south is also in the most complete dissension with the other doors of the church, in what the ornamentation of those is formee foliages and which the new door is charged with entirely foreign geometrical ornaments to the style of the Saint-Mammes church: because only one ornament of this kind would in vain be sought there. The doors built at the end of collateral, are accompagnees pilasters flowering ashes of grooves of a nature very-different from the grooves which one notices in various parts of the church. It is quite regrettable that in made so many repairs a monument as remarkable has as the cathedral of Langres, one is not generally by no means occupies to approach as much as possible the style this building and than one has on the contrary seeks has to move away some.

Finally one can only deplore the replacement of the cover out of slates or lead of the cathedral of Langres by a tiled roof vernissees with the hardest colors and brightest. The roof was, says one, thus modifiee because one has finds on the vaults of the Saint-Mammes church some tiles vernissees. This cathedral having been several times brulee, its roof could, after a fire, being reparee with tiles vernissees; but as the slate covers were of use has all the times, that they are, by their colour which is harmonized perfectly with the sky and gives more rise to the buildings, preferable, for the churches, has all the other covers; it is not understood that one has removes the slate cover of the cathedral of Langres to replace it by a cover in tiles, with the colors more the sharp, which crushes this building.

  • Titrate: Memories of the historical and archaeological Company of Langres
  • Author: Historical and archaeological company of Langres
  • Editor: Museum Saint-Didier (Langres)
  • Go back to edition: 1847

Cathedral Saint-Mammes
(Cathedral Saint-Mammes, langres)

Heritage listed, historical monument, or having been under investigation

Structural information

Cathedral Saint-Mammes, « Cathedral Saint-Mammes » is a construction of the city of Langres (France, Haute marne). Cathedral Saint-Mammes, French Heritage monument to Langres langres, haute marne

Location and general information

  • identifier : 82612
  • item : Cathédrale Saint-Mammes
  • Location of the building :
    • Champagne-Ardenne
    • Haute-Marne
    • Langres
  • INSEE code of the municipality : 52269
  • Zip code of the municipality : 52200
  • Order in the communal list : 3
  • Name of the building :
    • The building is designated as follows : cathedral
  • State :
    • the current state of the monument is not known.

Dates and times

  • Period of construction :
    • We have no information on the time of construction of this monument.
  • Date of protection : 1862 : classé MH
  • Date taken into account : 1993/03/29

Construction, architecture and style

  • Materials:
    • We do not have this information.
  • Roofing :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Materials (roofing) :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Other about the composition roofs :
    • No information on the coverage of the place.
  • Floors :
    • any information about this construction.
  • Stairs :
    • No stairs mentioned on this construction.
  • Decoration of the building :
    • No information about decoration.
  • Representation :
    • No information on the ornamentation of the place.
  • Typology :
    • No information about typology.
  • Plan :
    • We do not know the type of plan for this building.

Monument and history of the place

  • Interest of the building : Aménagement de la bibliothèque municipale dans une partie du cloître. 18 ; 04 ; 1914 (J.O.)
  • Elements protected MH (historical monument) :
    • Any particular element of the building is subject to protection in our database.
  • Constituent areas :
    • no information.
  • Parties constituantes étudiées :
    • no information.
  • Use :
    • We do not know the different uses that have been made of this construction.


  • Other :
    • other Information : 1992
  • Picture : 2445cb44faf0c756b02b5aae02fd2bff.jpg
  • Details : Cathédrale Saint-Mammes et restes du cloître : classement par liste de 1862
  • Mérimée reference : PA00079088

Contributions documentaries made by visitors

Cathedral Saint-Mammes, French Heritage monument to Langres. Picture of Lomyre
Cathédrale Saint-Mammes, langres
Description of this building by Lomyre :

Bâtie à partir de 1150 et achevée à la fin du siècle, la cathédrale de Saint-Mammès était un vaste diocèse situé entre Champagne et Bourgogne.
C'est le dernier grand édifice construit dans la lignée de l'abbatiale romane de Cluny édifiée à la fin du XIème siècle. Située au carrefour d'influences artistiques diverses, la cathédrale co jugue harmonieusement un décor et des volumes romans avec les premières innovations gothiques. L'emploi de la voûte sur croisées d'ogives, novateur dans la région, a permis de donner au vaisseau une largeur et un éclairage plus important que dans les autres édifices clunisiens.
Reconstruite en 1768, l'imposante façade néo-classique se compose de deux tours encadrant un avant-corps sommé d'un fronton. Celui-ci est surmonté de deux statues monumentales représentant la Synagogue (à gauche) et l'Eglise (à droite). Chacun des trois niveaux est scandé par des colonnes ou de pilastres aux ordres respectivement dorique, ionique et corinthien. Durant la Révolution, certain éléments de décor ont été détournés de leur symbole initial. Ainsi au-dessus du portail Nord (à gauche), la mitre et la crosse épiscopales ont été transformées respectivement en phrygien et en faisceau de licteur.

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