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The Cathedral of the Assumption of Luçon is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the French department of the Vendée. It is the seat of the Bishop of Luçon. Built primarily in the Gothic style, it has also older parts in Romanesque style as well as some in the more recent classical style. Several components are subject to protection under the Historic Monuments legislation.

In the seventh century, a Benedictine monastery was founded here, as a dependency of the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Philbert de Noirmoutier. The abbey was sited on the place of the present cathedral. This first building was ravaged by the Normans in 853, and again in 877. It was finally burnt to the ground by William VIII of Poitiers, Count of Poitou in 1068. Nothing remains of this original building.

The Count of Poitou was subsequently excommunicated by Pope Alexander II. For the remission of his sentence, he had to have the building rebuilt at his own expense; the work was undertaken by his son William IX known as the Troubadour. Work on the new church began in 1091 under Abbot Geoffrey, and lasted for 30 years. The consecration of the new Romanesque abbey took place in 1121, under Abbot Gerbert. Vestiges of the old Romanesque abbey church can be found in the cathedral today: notably a significant portion of the north transept of the abbey and its beautiful porch, which is now clearly visible on Place Sochet des Touches.

The abbey church was elevated to a cathedral in 1317 by Pope John XXII. Since that time it has suffered many vicissitudes as a result of wars and revolution resulting in it being restored and extended several times. The latest damage occurred on 27 December 1999 when a major storm damaged the top of the spire and carried away the cross and the weather vane. Repairs to this part of the cathedral were completed during 2004, when the top of the spire was dismantled and rebuilt stone by stone. After a year of work, the spire was completely restored and a new cross and weathercock installed. In October 2004 a special postage stamp was issued celebrating the "Cathedral of Luçon" based on an engraving by Pierre Forget.

The above was extracted and freely translated from an article about the cathedral to be found on the French Wikipedea site.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6111 W: 61 N: 17754] (79973)
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