Sens does not budge: in the 1130s, Mgr Henri Sanglier, its archbishop, topped with a short vault that of Saint-Denis, Abbot Suger, to whom we usually attribute the inauguration of this new French art, the Gothic style, for the expansion of its abbey church. Abbot Suger would even have been directly inspired by the Saint-Étienne construction site, smoothly led by the project manager Guillaume de Sens. In any case, the first official date dates back to 1164, the year of the consecration of an altar by Pope Alexander III, then taking refuge in Sens after being chased from Rome by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Eight hundred and fifty years later, the city celebrates the jubilee of its cathedral with many demonstrations.
A perpetual construction site
“Like many cathedrals, Saint-Étienne is constantly under construction. Two facades of the south tower and the canopy of the large choir were recently restored. The rose window of the south transept, a Last judgement in very poor condition, should soon go to a master glassmaker,” underlines Father François Campagnac, its rector. A major spiritual center in the Middle Ages, Saint-Étienne is today the center of a single parish, which embraces the entire city. “This anniversary was put together thanks to a wonderful partnership between the diocese, the State and the community of communes of Sénonais. We hope that it will continue for the restoration of the churches of Sens, which are in bad shape. »