Saint-Nazaire and Saint-Celse cathedral was built in the western part of the old medieval town in XNUMX and is found on the headland of an ancient oppidum. It majestically overlooks the Orb Plain.
Built on the ruins of the Romanesque cathedral that was burnt down during the Crusade against the Cathars in 1209, the masterful and somewhat austere Saint Nazaire cathedral watches over the city.
In 1209 therefore, it “imploded like a grenade”, set on fire by the troops of the King and the Pope, commanded by Simon de Montfort. Its reconstruction will last more than four centuries. But was not completed so far. For lack of sufficient means, the cloister of St Nazaire was never completed: a large number of capitals on the colonnades, on the garden side, are missing.
It is one of the most important fortified churches in the South of France and offers a series of styles: Romanesque from the XNUMXth century, Gothic from the XNUMXth, XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. But we agree to say that it is Gothic in style.
The Renaissance organ case dates from the XNUMXth century and the layout of the Baroque choir from the XNUMXth century. Each new contribution to the beautification of the building bears witness to the architectural “fashions” and pastoral priorities of its time. Perfectly integrated into the existing, this constitutes a beautiful unity, at the service of the liturgical assemblies which give all its meaning to the life of this sanctuary.
The fourteenth century cloister is very homogeneous and the view over the Languedoc plain really make a visit to this unforgettable site worthwhile. The view is impressive and in just one sweeping glance, you can see not only the Languedoc plain but also the surrounding villages and all the way to the Black Mountain Massif, Mont Caroux and the Pyrenees which can be seen looming on the horizon.
The cathedral overlooks Béziers and its impressive silhouette makes it a landmark that can be seen from a number of places all over the territory.
It was listed as a Historic Monument in 1840.