The Beziers Cathedral (also called St Nazaire Cathedral, but actually more correctly: Cathédrale Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Béziers) is located on the South Western part of the old town and overlooks the Orb River.
Beziers Cathedral – western entrance
The cathedral was rebuilt after the sacking of Beziers on July 22, 1209. In this part of the world a search for aspects of military history are quite thin, after the crusade against the carthars very little happened; with Languedoc fortunately avoiding the napoleonic wars as well as the first and second world wars.
The sacking of Beziers included the looting of the city and the slaughter of nearly the whole population (20 000 people), including numerous Catholics who lived in the city. After this battle most other cities surrendered rather than suffer a similar fate. The Spanish Inquisition and 100 years later Catharsism was no more.
So on Tuesday the 29th of April it was off to see the cathedral. Our visiting friends led the way to a hobby shop first, but after driving past waved us on to lead the way. At this point in time I am quite comfortable with some geography around Beziers and without having GPS guidance (apart from viewing the map) got us to the cathedral, and after a tour of all available parking areas we even got free parking for the morning, a short walk away. Only minor mishap was driving up the wrong way of the Madeleine parking and getting a friendly head shake from a Frenchman who had to reverse to let us out.
The walk was as always fun, between sulking, running, road crossing, walking on walls etc. we arrived at the cathedral at about 11:30. The cathedral, like most tourist attractions and shops, closes from 12:00 to 14:00 for lunch (some sites are open in peak season during lunch).
Pieter was not too interested once he heard we cannot go up on the cathedral tower (we did not enquire, but decided that it was not the best idea), but after showing him some goblins and dragons in the architecture of the convent building we managed to spend 10 minutes more while looking at lions, dragons, angels and demons, all part of the buildings architecture.
Looking for dragons!
Annabellé not interested in the architecture!
After finding a play area for tea time, juice and wine, we found lunch and the girls all went into the cathedral, but Pieter declined, so us men waited outside. I had a quick look, but we returned 3 days later without the children and this time had a thorough look. The religious art in the building is really something special! We also managed to find a way to the tower and have promised Pieter we will return.
View from vantage point close to Beziers cathedral
If you ever find yourself in Beziers pay the cathedral a visit, but only go up the tower if you are not afraid of heights!
Ok, I got a slight issue with heights – as my body language shows….
But the view is worth it!