Background information | Contact details


Thérouanne Cathedral
& Archaeology Museum

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of Thérouanne's cathedral -
Therouanne archaeology: finds Finds are now displayed on site and in the adjoining museum.

Ancient cathedral, reduced to rubble
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). Old Hesdin 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 neighbouring towns.

Therouanne-medieval cathedral Medieval Therouanne - R.Lys
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 hill.
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. Back to top

Background information
Churches & religion
Medieval Art
Spanish Netherlands

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Location: Musée Archaeologique, 62129 THEROUANNE
Take exit 4 from A26 autoroute, then D 77 [2,5km]
Information/ reservations:
Tel: 00 33 3 21 - 95 51 87 - Fax: 00 33 3 21 - 93 78 61




St-Omer Cathedral © Copyright 2000 Invicta Media. Last updated 2nd May 2002, 16th April 2000