© Jim Prod
Cathedral Details

THE LANTERN TOWER

Known as “the dome”, find out more about Coutances Cathedral’s Lantern Tower

Although the cathedral is symbolised by the two spires that adorn its facade, the Lantern Tower is another of the elements that best represent the cathedral. Extraordinary from the outside, a visit of the upper parts is staggeringly high !

An architectural masterpiece : The Lantern Tower

A typical feature of Norman architecture, the tower is pierced with light, hence its name of lantern tower. Its staggering height above the cathedral floor makes it a remarkable element. The view from the top of the tower is breathtaking. The weight of the tower is supported by 4 pillars of the casement surmounted by 4 pendentives which ensure the pillars are linked to the tower.

Did you know?

The lantern tower was once adorned with a spire that was higher than the two spires still in place. During the Second World War, the spire was bombed and burnt down to the height of the bell chamber.

   Important information

  • Total height: 57 meters (187 ft)
  • Bell chamber at the top
  • 41 meter high vault (134.5ft)
  • Circulation gallery (for visiting the upper parts)
  • Square tower outside and octagonal tower inside
  • The corners are surrounded by 4 stair turrets that serve as buttresses
  • 4 big pillars hold the whole thing together

How to visit ?   

  • Open to the public during the cathedral’s opening hours
  • Free visit with information on the cathedral published by the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire [the local heritage organisation] (free)
  • Audio-guided tour: audioguides for hire at the tourist office (€3)
  • Guided tour of the lower parts (Reservations at the Tourist office)
  • Guided tour of the upper parts (Reservations at the Tourist office)