Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of
Thérouanne's cathedral -
Finds are now displayed on site and in the adjoining
Ancient cathedral, reduced to
It was the Spanish Emperor, Charles
Quint, who decided that the
medieval town and its cathedral should be razed to the
ground in 1553.
In the 16th century, Thérouanne
was one of four "islands" of French rule in the Spanish
Netherlands. Following French attacks across the border,
Charles ordered this revenge attack - destroying one of
north France's finest 12th century cathedrals (see below).
suffered a similar fate.
History of Thérouanne
The famous Bishop
Omer ("Audomar") who first
brought Christianity to this area in the 8th century founded
Thérouanne and was the first bishop. When excavating
the site, archaeologists found remains of earlier
settlements which did not survive the chaos after the
departure of the Romans.
The cathedral's large diocese stretched
from Ypres (now in Belgium) south to the river Somme,.
Around the rich church an important town grew up. The river
Lys was an important trading route, and roads came here from
Medieval illustrations of
Therouanne: One of North's finest 12th century cathedrals.
The town grew up around the cathedral in the valley of the
river Lys - overlooked by a castle on the
After the destruction of
Thérouanne, the bishop moved to nearby Saint-Omer,
where the college chapel was made into a cathedral
in 1561. Since then, this has been just a small village.
in a review..
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Archaeologique, 62129 THEROUANNE
Take exit 4 from A26 autoroute, then D 77
Tel: 00 33 3 21 - 95 51 87 - Fax: 00 33 3 21 - 93 78 61