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Discover Embrun’s cathedral… and its treasure

Serre-Ponçon - Cathedrale Embrun - ©OTSP

Enter Embrun cathedral’s treasure chamber for an amazing experience. Enjoy the adventure as you unravel the mysteries of the lions on the Porche du Réal and contemplate the elegance of the colourful arches for a more spiritual moment. You will discover one surprise after another, follow the guide !

visite Guidée

The cathedral period


Topping a rock in Embrun, the Notre-Dame du Réal Cathedral overlooks the Durance Valley. Covered passageways, narrow, winding streets, carved doors…there’s a certain medieval feel. Amble along the calm, medieval streets in the old town centre, steeped in 900 years of history, where you almost expect to bump into a group of archers on guard at the bottom of the imposing Tour Brune with its dungeon-like appearance. Then suddenly, near to the archbishop’s palace, the cathedral’s imposing, majestic architecture stands before us.


History tellers


Friendly and good-humoured, Corinne’s smile suggests we have discovered something. Questions flood in, eyes look from one sculpture to the next and little by little, the archbishop of Embrun’s prestigious history is revealed before our eyes.

-® Camille Bertuletti (3)

The mystery of the lions


Green and pink marble, grey shale and white sandstone colour the Porche du Réal. The two lions lying in front of the north gate are threatening with their wide-open mouths. Let’s observe the details that decorate the porch and look for the differences between left and right.
Did you notice the entwined snakes? Your guide will help you decipher the symbols.

‘‘ A spiritual break during your summer visit to Embrun. Serenity…and coolness.
Yoann O.

A haven of peace


Inside, tinted rays of light fall on our faces as they enter through the 15th century stained glass windows. Settled peacefully within the coolness of these walls, our eyes are inevitably drawn to the elegant black and white-striped arches. A remarkable polychrome, laden with spirituality.


-® Jean-Pierre Pavie (2)

The king’s stall


The stalls, set in the choir of the cathedral, are barely visible. The guide unlocks the wrought-iron grid. We have the privilege of closely observing the bas-reliefs that adorn the 15th century walnut wood panelling. A space usually reserved for the clergy, one of them was nevertheless used by King Louis XI and President Charles de Gaulle. Will you resist the idea of taking their seat ?

Dressed in silver and gold !


Excitement is noticeable within the group before entering the archbishops’ vestry.  Trepidation gives way to astonishment as the display case doors open one after the other to reveal golden chalices, silver ciboriums, illuminated manuscripts and a collection of gold-embroidered clothes. Our only wish is to come back to continue exploring the details of this boundless treasure.


Le Pays d’art et d’histoire (Land of Art and History)

Les visites sont réalisées par un guide conférencier du Pays d’art et d’histoire. Un label délivré par le Ministère de la Culture à 30 communes engagées dans la valorisation de leur patrimoine autour du lac de Serre-Ponçon et en Ubaye.

Pays SUD Programme May 2019 April 2020

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