Narbonne – Narbonne Cathedral (Unfinished Bit)

I’ve told a lot of people how much I was fascinated by Narbonne Cathedral following my visit there in 2017. It’s really intriguing as it’s a cathedral which was never finished, with only the choir section having been completed. So what is left is the first part of the nave and the choir area, with the nave section having never been roofed.

The unfinished nature of the structure gives an indication of how buildings like this were constructed, and it almost feels like being on a medieval building site. Where the rear of the nave would have been is now built on, but the central nave area has remained as it would have looked in the thirteenth century.

The cathedral was never completed for numerous reasons, partly funding but also it would have meant moving the city walls and this would have been an expensive and time-consuming exercise. The cathedral itself was also one of the largest which was being built, so it would have been a huge commitment to see it through to the end.

The unfinished elements are also visible from the side of the cathedral.

This is the bit of the cathedral that was finished, which was effectively only the choir area. Today though the interior has been reconfigured to try and make the whole cathedral fit inside the space that they have. I’m unsure why the first section of the nave area was never finished, as this could have been done relatively cheaply since the walls were already up, but perhaps there was just never the need.