favorite Gothic cathedrals in France

I'd welcome any recommendations of French Gothic cathedrals I should not miss. I'll fly into Paris in September and first go to Mont S Michel to spend 5 or 6 days on retreat, staying in the monastery with the nuns. I'll then have 2 weeks more in France and would like to focus on Gothic cathedrals. I've been to Chartres (will probably revisit), Notre Dame Paris, Reims, and Strasbourg. I definitely will visit Amiens. And I'll probably ultimately end up in the town of Annecy, flying home from somewhere near there (maybe Geneva?). What are your favorite cathedrals? Thanks.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
4507 posts

Laon Cathedral, the first one I ever saw outside of Paris, many years ago.

Posted by Allen
Lafayette, LA
207 posts

Chartres is my favorite. But all those you listed are amazing Gothic cathedrals. All are worth visiting and revisiting.

Posted by Lo
1346 posts

Here's another vote for St. Denis. P.S. My husband and I loved Annecy.

Posted by Martin
395 posts

St. Denis in Paris (the first Gothic cathedral) Beauvais (the most ambitious Gothic cathedral) Sainte-Chapelle in Paris (IMHO the most perfect Gothic structure) Rouen

Posted by Alyson
Chicago, IL, USA
422 posts

Have you seen the Sacred Destinations website Sherry? I consider it cathedral porn--you'll find great gothic cathedrals here!

Posted by Alexander
Quad Cities, IL/IA
340 posts

LOL@ Cathedral Porn. I love the Cathedral in Tours, France. Rick always says that there's nothing to see in Tours, and I always disagree. The towers are Romanesque but the rest is pure Gothic gorgeousness.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1183 posts

We liked Bourges a lot. Also St-Denis for its historic role and the royal tombs. I've heard that Amiens is also great, the largest in France or maybe Europe. We hope to see it this fall. Another that I haven't seen, but would like to, is Albi in the southwest, built like a fortress.

Posted by Sherry
San Jose, CA
1734 posts

Thanks all for some great suggestions! I'll start mapping out routes.

Posted by Fred
San Francisco
3919 posts

Hi, Obviously, Strasbourg...das Stra├čburger M├╝nster. I like the one in Amiens, impressive, and a very interesting town. That cathedral in Beauvais is worth going to, close to Amiens if you're going to be in that area. You won't see any tourists in Beauvais, also easy to reach from Paris.

Posted by nancy
bethesda, md, us
212 posts

Two of the very very earliest Gothic, Vezelay and Autun. The capitals and the tympanum, especially at Vezelay, incredibly important to art historians. Vezelay shows transition from Romanesque to Gothic as the nave was built, and same thing, so a certain extent, at Autun. (In Autun, don't miss the Roman theatre and arches, as well as the beautiful Temptation of Eve, once on the portico, now in the cathedral museum.)