The choir was rebuilt after the fire of 1556. Of the gothic choir from the previous church, built in the second half of the 13th century, there remains only the apse (with its seven window bays) and the right archway.
At the junction point of the ribbed ceiling vaults of the apse, we can see, hanging from the keystone, a carved stone lantern featuring six statuettes in niches divided by classical columns. Around the lower part of the apse runs a faux-gothic arcade made of plaster in the 19th century, in which are embedded medallions of the saint patrons of the Counts of Tonnerre.
The soaring windows are most alluring. The original windows, which had been in place for centuries, were simple colored glass. These were replaced between 1863 and 1866 by the current stained-glass windows (scenes from the old and the new testament) made by Mena, a master glass-maker of Paris. He also created the windows of the Virgin’s Chapel on the north side of the choir in 1867. (By contrast, the windows of the nave and the transept were made by the Vermonet workshop of Reims in the 1880s).
The wooden stalls came from Saint Michel’s Abbey in Tonnerre. The main altar dates back to the late 18th century.
Présentation et Historique de Tonnerre
Tonnerre apparaît à l’époque romaine sous le nom de Tornodurum, « forteresse ». Pour les Lingons, elle était le capitale du Pagus tornodorensis. Ici, sur la vallée de l’Armançon, s’est créé le Comté de Tonnerre, qui a servi de point de passage entre Paris et Dijon, à l’époque où le roi de France avait des visées sur le duché de Bourgogne. [lire la suite]