The Mission patrimoine pour la sauvegarde du patrimoine en péril unveiled on March 16 the 18 emblematic sites of France that will benefit from the financial support of this sixth edition. In Burgundy-Franche-Comté, the former Saint-Vincent de Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire) cathedral was selected. Led by Stéphane Bern, deployed by the Heritage Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Culture and the French Games, the Mission allows a development and revitalization of the territories, supporting mainly projects in rural municipalities and small towns.

The Heritage Mission games offer will be launched in September 2023. Raffle and scratch games will be on sale to support the Heritage Foundation. The amount of funding for each site will be announced at the next European Heritage Days. In Burgundy-Franche-Comté, the former Saint-Vincent de Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire) cathedral was selected.


Ancienne cathédrale Saint-Vincent (c) Fondation du patrimoine - MyPhotoAgency - C. Barbe (36).jpg

The old cathedral of Saint Vincent de Mâcon

Also called «Vieux Saint-Vincent», this building was built in XIe century, and largely rebuilt in XIIIe century. Became national property at the time of the Revolution, it was almost completely destroyed in 1799.

The stakes of this operation are twofold: the restoration and the implementation of a recovery project.

The restoration

The remains of the cathedral are altered due to a lack of maintenance: leakage of the covers of the north tower and the porch, peril of the vestiges of the drifty walls of the Gothic nave exposed to the elements, degradation of masonry and colonization of towers by pigeons.


The restoration will be divided into three sections:

- step 1: complete restoration of the enclosure and the cover of the towers, the interiors of the high parts and the staircase of the south tower, restoration of the vestiges of the dripping walls of the nave;

- tranche 2: restoration of the enclosure and the cover of the porch and purging of the internal coatings;

- tranche 3: restoration of the interior of the porch and the two chapels superimposed on the north tower.

Setting up a development project

The municipality, a beneficiary of the «Action Cœur de Ville» programme, wishes to shed more light on the building in its historic centre. Indeed, the preserved parts of the old cathedral host a lapidary museum open only occasionally to the public. The immediate surroundings serve as a public garden. Thanks to this development, the building could be opened more widely to the public.

To do this, several operations will be implemented:

- creation of a large court to the west in order to restore to the public the logical sense of reading and visiting the cathedral;

- reopening by the towers of the access to the belvedere overlooking the city;

- access to the chapel through the first floor of the north tower, which contains the painted decoration, for which there is today only a simple access hatch from the narthex;

- improvement of the conditions of reception of the public and of the comfort of visit, with terminal of reception, sanitary, etc., but also by a new landscaping of the public garden.

Following the restoration work, and outside of the Heritage Mission, the creation of a place of reception of the public is planned, to better receive the visitors.

The work is scheduled to begin in March 2024. It will be completed in June 2026.

The Heritage Mission in a few figures…

Since its creation in 2018, the Heritage Mission has helped 762 sites with their restoration work, and more than 60% are already saved or about to be: 230 are completed and 240 projects are underway.

This Mission has, since its first year, met with great success and aroused the enthusiasm and attachment of French people to their heritage. Almost €230 million (excluding contributions from local authorities) has helped restore all the sites selected by the Heritage Mission since its creation:

• more than €125 million from the Heritage Lotto (including more than 26 million for the 2022 edition);

• €73 million in unfrozen appropriations allocated by the Ministry of Culture to projects involving historic monuments;

• €30 million raised by the Heritage Foundation from corporate philanthropy, individual donations and its own resources.