Cathedral Notre-Dame de Puy
This church, built in the Provencal Romanesque style, was first mentioned in 1154 as the church of Saint-Marie. The church was elevated to a Cathedral in the mid-13th century, when the episcopal see was transferred from Antibes to Grasse in 1244.
The architecture is influenced by both Liguria and Lombardy (church layout, decorative elements and vault).
The main façade is simple and modest, which is also reflected in the interior appearance: a raised central nave and two side aisles. The cathedral has six leaded panes and four Baillet statues representing the four evangelists: St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John.
In the 17th century, a crypt was dug under the cathedral and the interior tiles and steps were renovated. The central doorway became the only entrance through the facade, which is reached by a double staircase, with a statue of the Virgin above it. The two doors, made of walnut wood, were carved by two Grasse carpenters, Deschamps and Raybaud.
Next to the cathedral is the former bishop’s palace, which today is the town hall.
The cathedral contains many spectacular effects
Grasse Cathedral houses many artifacts, some of which are listed as historical monuments. See the paintings in the picture gallery below:
- St. Honorat, St. Clement, and St.. Lambert, altarpiece by Louis Brea
- Christ’s crown of thorns, St. Helena, and the Crucifixion are works by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
- Washing feet painted by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) in 1754 is one of the few religious works by this Grasse artist.
- The ship’s monumental cross is a mission cross from 1830.
- The organ dates from 1855 and was made by Toulouse organ builder De Jungh
- Saint-Paul’s death painted by Charles Nègre (1820-1880, photographer from Grasse)
The cathedral is today a national monument.
By Tommy Sverre / 2021