Programme of events at Monaco Cathedral
What: Monaco Cathedral
Where: Monaco Ville
2011 marked the centenary of the consecration of the Cathedral of Monaco, the building best known for its starring role in the 1956 marriage of Prince Rainier to Grace Kelly, the so-called 'Wedding of the Century'. As well as being the principal church of Monaco, it is also the chapel of the Grimaldis, sharing with London's Westminster Abbey and Paris's St Denis the honour of being the resting place of generations of royalty.
But this is principally a living church, and each month sees a wide programme of events, musical, artistic and religious. The latest programme is published below, and you can find out more by visiting the cathedral's new website at the link above.
Programme of Forthcoming Events
28 June 2012 at 8.30pm
7th Monaco International Organ Festival
Sacred Airs: Idriss Damien, flute quintet
(Tickets: + 377 98 98 83 03)
Sunday 1 July at 5pm
Jacques van Oortmerssen (Netherlands)
Sunday 8 July at 5pm
Louis Robilliard (France)
Sunday 15 July at 5pm
James David Christie (USA)
Sunday 22 July at 5pm
Lüdger Lohmann (Germany)
Sunday 29 July at 5pm
Bernard Foccroulle (Belgium)
About the cathedral
There has been a church in this glorious spot for 700 years, but the present
cathedral - the work of architect Charles Lenormand - was only begun in
1875. It wasn't until 1903 that the building was officially opened, and a
further eight years before consecration took place in 1911.
Dedicated to St Nicholas, the cathedral is a Byzantine-style building made from local limestone quarried at La Turbie, not far from Monaco. The stone, from which the nearby Oceanographic Museum is also constructed, has a special quality, maintaining a pearlescent sheen and whitening naturally in the rain (that relatively rare occurrence!)
Pieta from the atelier of Francois Brea
Once past the ornate facade, with its depiction of Christ in Majesty, there are some notable objects to look out for: an altarpiece by Louis Brea of Nice, and a superb 'Pieta' (the grief of Mary over the dead Christ) by his relative Francois Brea, both masterpieces of 16th century painting. A vast Bishop's throne in Carrara marble is another highlight, and of course the armorial pennants and the graves of the Grimaldi dyasty, culminating in the north aisle with those of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace.
Like all cathedrals, Monaco is more than simply a monumental edifice - though it is that as well, of course. Perched on its symbolic Rock, it is also a beacon of faith which has inspired hope and faith for centuries.