The glorious Gothic thirteenth-century Cathédrale Notre-Dame features prominently in French history: in 1429 Joan of Arc managed to get the Dauphin crowned here as Charles VII – an act of immense significance when France was more or less wiped off the map by the English and their allies. In all, 26 French kings were crowned here.

The chief draw inside the cathedral is the kaleidoscopic patterns in the stained glass, with fantastic Marc Chagall designs in the east chapel, and champagne processes glorified in the south transept. The exterior is also fabulous: an inexplicable joke runs around the restored but still badly mutilated statuary on the west front – the giggling angels who seem to be responsible for a prank are a delight. Not all the figures on the cathedral’s west front are originals – some have been removed to spare them further erosion and are now at the former bishop’s palace, the Palais du Tau. The towers of the cathedral are open to the public; as well as a walk round the transepts and chevet, you get to see inside the framework of the cathedral roof; tickets are available from the Palais du Tau.

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