There are several churches in Toulon but I visited two of them when I was there. I went to Cathedrale Notre-Dame-De-La-Seds de Toulon and Eglise Saint-Louis. Both of these are situated in the centre of the old part of Toulon and both are very different in size and decorations.
The Toulon Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre-Dame-De-La-Seds de Toulon) was almost hidden amongst the old buildings in Toulon and I had to look on Google Maps as to where it was situated. It has a big bell tower attached and it quite a grand building. The Toulon Cathedral has huge doors at the front which open into a gorgeous church. There were lots of benches, stained glass windows and walls with a yellow tint. The Toulon Cathedral also had chandeliers, paintings and statues which added to the whole feel of the place.
If I was to compare the two, I think I preferred the Toulon Cathedral from both the outside and the inside. Both were lovely and very different, but I feel like the Toulon Cathedral had more history and character. If you are ever in Toulon, be sure to visit both, then let me know which one you liked the most.
In this blog post I'm going to share my photographs and information found online about the Toulon Cathedral. A separate blog post will follow soon about the Eglise.
Information about the Cathedrale Notre-Dame-De-La-Seds de Toulon
Name : Cathedrale Notre-Dame-De-La-Seds de Toulon (Toulon Cathedral)
Where : 55 Place de la Cathedrale, 83000 Toulon, France
Built : "Construction of the Cathedral began in the 11th century and finished in the 18th century." - Info found on Wikipedia.
History : "The first cathedral at Toulon existed in the 5th century, but no trace of it remains. The present building was begun in 1096 by Gilbert, Count of Provence, according to tradition in gratitude for his safe return from the Crusades. The first three travées, or bays of the nave, remain from the Romanesque 11th century church, and the present Chapel of Saint Joseph was originally the choir apse. The Chapel of Relics was constructed in the 15th century.
In the winter of 1543–1544 the cathedral, the largest building in the city, was temporarily transformed into a mosque for the 30,000 crew members of the ships of the Ottoman-Barbary admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa, at that time an ally of Francis I of France. The residents of Toulon were temporarily expelled from the city to make room for the Turkish sailors. At the end of the winter, King Francis paid a large bribe to the Turkish admiral to persuade him and his fleet to leave.
As the naval port of Toulon was enlarged by Henri IV and Louis XIV, and the city became more important, the cathedral was also enlarged. Additions between 1654 and 1659 had the effect of enclosing the original Romanesque building and incorporating the Chapel of Relics.
The Classical façade was created in 1696–1701, in the reign of Louis XIV. Angels on the tympanum of the massive porch, supported on Corinthian columns, hold the arms of Toulon. The façade was badly damaged in the French Revolution, but was restored to its original appearance in 1816. It also displays a memorial plaque from 1239, dedicated to Gilbert of Baux, who died in 1239, and to Gaufridet of Trets and Toulon, and his wife Dame Guillaumette, both of whom died in 1234.
The clock tower was built between 1737 and 1740, the same time as the monumental gate of the Toulon Arsenal. It is 36 meters high, and three meters thick at the base.
On top of the tower is an iron campanile, where a bell has kept time in Toulon since 1524. The original bells were taken and melted down during the French Revolution. In 1806 and 1807 they were replaced by four new bells." - Info found on Wikipedia.