The restoration work on the western massif of the Saint-Mammès de Langres Cathedral begins the week of November 16, 2020, with the installation of scaffolding. With an estimated duration of 37 months, this intervention, of 2.57 million euros, is 100% financed by the State – Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs Grand Est (DRAC), the contracting authority, and carried out under the project management of Charlotte Hubert, Chief architect of historical monuments.


Saint Ma Cathedralmmès remains accessible for the duration of the work.

This new restoration campaign comes after two major interventions on the roofs of the monument, those of choir in 2014/2015 and the ambulatory and apsidial chapels in 2017/2019EUR 2.36 million, financed by the State/Grand Est DRAC.

It is intended to solve the sealing problems experienced by this part of the building.

Massif occidental de la cthédrale de Langres

The western massif of Langres Cathedral

Elévation Ouest du massif occidental

Realized between 1760 and 1768, by Claude-Louis d'Aviler, architect of the Sens mastery, the western massif of the Saint-Mammès de Langres cathedral (XIIe-XIIe centuries) replaces the original portal demolished in 1760.

Since its construction, various interventions have taken place on this massif, including the installation of tie rods in the course of the XIXe century to gird the upper part of the building, as well as more localized restorations carried out in XXe century.

Despite these interventions, the western massif of the Saint-Mammès cathedral suffers today from a significant leakage.

The addition of cement roofing in the XIXe century, then lead convents, attests that this is an ancient problem.

Disorder analysis

Auscultation au radar du massif occidentale de la cathédrale de Langres (2018)

The main disorder concerns the infiltration of rainwater into masonry. The leakage particularly affecting areas most exposed to the weather.

A radar survey of the western massif, carried out in May 2018, and supplemented by analyses of materials, allowed to assess the presence of salts in the stone and determine its properties.

The catering bias

The sanitary condition of the massif requires the complete recovery of the elements ensuring the tightness of the salient parts, especially the glazes of the cornices elements that facilitate the runoff.

As the western massif has undergone few changes since its construction, the restoration party proposes:

  • the preservation of the current provisions, purged from the cement bands;
  • the treatment of metal elements and the consolidation of masonry after cleaning;
  • the restoration of sculptures;
  • restoration of stained glass;
  • the installation of lead lids (or wall covers) on the projecting bands of the western massif to ensure the good sealing of masonry;
  • the revision and repainting of carpentry;
  • the revision of the terrace covers;
  • replacement of storm water discharges and downdrafts;
  • the implementation of anti-volatile devices;
  • the restoration of the North-West courtyard.
Sondages réalisés en mai 2018 sur le glacis de la corniche entre les niveaux 1 et 2 (tour Sud) : le couvrement en ciment a été coulé sur la pierre, avec une bande de cuivre de 8 cm de largeur en rive


  • preparatory phase of the project: from 17 August 2020;
  • erection of scaffolding: start week of November 16, 2020, for an estimated duration of 1 month;
  • first phase of work on the central part of the façade: estimated duration of 10 months;
  • second phase of work on the South Tower: estimated duration of 13 months;
  • Third phase of work on the North Tower including the small adjoining courtyard: estimated duration of 13 months.

Amount of work

€2.57 million. Financed 100% by the State/ DRAC Grand Est.

Contracting authority

State/ Regional Directorate of Cultural Affairs Grand Est (Service de la Conservation régionale des monuments historiques - Châlons-en-Champagne site).

Project management

Charlotte Hubert, Chief Architect of Historical Monuments (ACMH) - Cabinet Eugène architectes.

Historical landmarks

The cathedral of Langres was built between the middle of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13the century to house several relics of Saint-Mammès.

Massif occidental de la cathédrale de Langres au niveau des portails

The Marian chapel in the axis of the choir, the other radiant chapels and the chapel of Amoncourt are then gradually added to the building.

The building has an eastern portal but its layout is not known, except that this portal has two arrows. These were hit by lightning in 1562 and the reconstruction of the portal was decided two centuries later.

Several projects were developed between 1755 and 1758 by different architects, at the same time as the question of financing the new western massif was resolved.

Sources: Cabinet Eugène architectes