Collegial Church Neuchâtel

The construction of the church began around 1185 and its inauguration was in 1276, during the transition from Romanesque style (apse, choir and foundations) to Gothic style (lantern tower and three-section nave). In addition to its architectural and artistic wealth, the church has an important place in the history of the canton of Neuchâtel and Swiss Protestantism. In 1530 the city was converted to the Reformed faith, initiated by Guillaume Farel (1489-1565), whose statue stands on the forecourt of the church.

The church is built of limestone from the region. The three Romanesque apsides in Rhineland style on the east side form the oldest part of the collegial church. The roof is made of glazed tiles. The outer walls are decorated with typical arches from Lombardy, carried by human or animal heads. The Gothic pointed arches of the choir, however, characterize the transition from Romanesque to Gothic and are reminiscent of the cathedrals of Basel and Lausanne. The angular points of the pointed arches are similar to those of Basel. The church is also inspired by the building work in Lausanne, for example the Gothic construction of the nave. However, the capitals of the choir are still clearly Romanesque. Romanesque, Gothic, Reformation, Basel, Geneva and Lausanne met in Neuchâtel. (Source: Collégiale de Neuchâtel).