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Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Quimper


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Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Quimper


The Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Quimper, which means "Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Quimper" in the local Storish dialect, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply as the Sacré-Cœur, is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Quimper. It serves as the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pontife d'Église de Normandie, the head of the Église de Normandie, which is the officially-established Christian church of the Duchy of Normandie. The Basilica is situated at the confluence of the rivers Isole, Scorff and Loire and close the sacred lake and Worship Water known as Lac Trieux.


The Sacré-Cœur is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and is one of the four churches of Quimper that hold the rank of Major Basilica. It was built by Duke Pépin the Confessor, who was later canonized by the Church of Normandie, after the Duchy of Normandie had become an independent country after the collapse of the Kingdom of Franciana and the Episcopal Conference known as the Tenth Council of Quimper had declared the Église de Normandie the free and independent Church of the Ducal Realm aforesaid.


From the instance of its consecration until this very day, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Quimper has, with its incomparable beauty and magnificence, played a significant role in the history of the Knightly Jarldom, not only spiritually, intellectually and artistically, but also politically and economically. The Sacré-Cœur is one of the most notable religious buildings in the Duchy of Normandie and has been the traditional place of coronation as well as the customary wedding and burial site for the Dukes of Normandie. It is also a tremendous honour for an inhabitant of the Twin Peninsula Jarldom to be allowed to marry, have a memorial erected, or be buried in the Sacré-Cœur.


This Norman Catholic church has many notable features, the most famous being its towering central spire, the tallest in the Twin Peninsula Jarldom, at 404 feet. A 332 steps climb up the tower rewards a visitor with a wonderful view of the timber scaffolding above the nave and inside the spire as well as breathtaking views of the Royal City of Quimper and the surrounding countryside. Its nave is also striking for its great height and unusual narrowness, the entire length being in the Early Norman Gothic style.


Although the spire is the cathedral's most impressive feature, it has proved to be troublesome. Together with the tower, it added 6,397 tons (6,500 tonnes) to the weight of the building. Without the addition of buttresses, bracing arches and anchor irons over the succeeding centuries, it would have suffered the fate of spires on later great ecclesiastical buildings (such as Abbaye Saint-Vigor) and fallen down; instead, the Sacré-Cœur remains the tallest church spire in the Knightly Jarldom. The large supporting pillars at the corners of the spire are seen to bend inwards under the stress. The addition of reinforcing tie beams above the crossing, designed by the Valtian Lady Architect Margrét Guðjónsdóttir of the House of Hvalsnes, arrested further deformation. The beams were hidden by a false ceiling, installed below the lantern stage of the tower.


Significant changes to the cathedral were made in 2008 by the famous Storish Lady Architect Lady Ingibjörg de Béthune of the House of Ydermure, including replacement of the original rood screen and demolition of a bell tower which stood about 320 feet north west of the main building as well as the construction of a new bell tower. In total, 70,000 tons of stone, 3,000 tons of timber and 450 tons of lead were used in the construction of the cathedral.

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