Construction of the church of Notre-Dame began in the 13th century and progressed in stages according to the space available in the highly urbanised enclosure.
The 15th-century architects added so much majesty to this stone structure dominating the upper town, that it is often referred to as a cathedral.
At the meeting point between the second north side-aisle and the ambulatory, both built by Geoffroy Herbert, Bishop of Coutances (1488-1510), an external pulpit adds a delicately flamboyant touch, recalling those seen in Brittany (Vitré, Guérande, and Nantes): it was intended for the announcements of civil jurisdiction acts by the Bishop of Coutances, who was also Baron of Saint-Lô.
The pulpit was used for the outdoor sermons given by Saint Jean-Eudes (1642, 1663, 1675-1676) and Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1714), who were thus able to preach to the crowds that gathered in the courtyard of the episcopal palace.
In his book “Things Seen”, Victor Hugo tells us that the external pulpit was scheduled for realignment by the town planning scheme (1863). He also sketched the pulpit which, thanks to him, was saved from demolition.
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