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There is a really large and beautiful Cathedral in downtown Clermont-Ferrand that is only a few blocks from our apartment. It is a French national monument and is built entirely of black lava stone. The faith of the cathedral is Christianity and the denomination is Catholic. Each of the twin spires is 315 feet tall and towers over the town and can be seen from very far away. If I understand correctly, it was built in the 13th and 14th centuries, and later had some work done in the 18th century. It contains beautiful medieval stained glass windows, many Gothic wall paintings, and a 10th-century crypt. Make sure you look closely at the painting. It is, shall we say, interesting. The crypt under the choir dates from the 10th century and is the only survivor from the earlier Romanesque cathedral. It contains two beautiful sarcophagi from Early Christian Clermont: one from the 4th century and the other from the 5th or 6th. The church is open almost everyday and you can go in and look around. When we were here about 6 years ago, they let me go up to the rooftop and look around and it was amazing! Michael didn’t get to go last time because he was working so we might try to go see it soon. It is a little hard to tell from the pictures but it just towers over you when you stand before it on the street. It is just enormous and so detailed and beautiful. Very different from what we are used to. Those of you that will come to visit should definitely visit the cathedral. And just so you know, I didn’t take many of these pictures. 🙂

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