The first church here was built by the followers of Saint Philbert -- from Noirmoutier, an earlier visit. The cathedral itself has know every moment and storm of French history or climatology -- most of its evolution has has followed a storm that forced one or another reparation. In the 1600's Richelieu's word was law, and he used to exterminate the Protestant resistance in this area. Over 200 years later, Napoleon III was enjoying a wild ride. He was using the American Cival War to extend his influence in the Western Hemisphere. He also was worried about Western France. The Bishop of Luçon was not so happy with a lot of that, and Napoleon knew it. With a few quick notes to Rome, the bishop of Luçon was out. To thank the Pope, Napoleon donated this magnificent organ to the cathedral. I must name the artist-engineer: Cavaille-Coll. (Maybe you know another of the musical engineers of Napoleon III, a guy named Adolphe Saxe, of saxophone fame, if you get my drift...) Today this organ is one of the most famous in the world. It looks like a marvel from another world, and our guide today notices that we ourselves are not just an ordinary group of tourists. This is one of my proudest moments ever in WVU-V: we actually get to visit the organ itself. I'll save further comment for a chance to convert one of my video files for your enlightenment. Now, I think I've got it (QuickTime Video).
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This page last updated on 2005-06-23 1:23:43 PM.