Nevers is a city in the central part of France, located on the right bank of the Loire river.

(Photographs of paintings of the old city of Nevers in the Ducal palace).

The Nevers Cathedral, or the Cathédrale Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Julitte de Nevers, is the seat of the bishops of Nevers.

The original stained-glass windows of the Cathedral were destroyed during WWII on the 16th of July 1944, and have been replaced by contemporary ones by local artisans.

The Ducal Palace of Nevers was built in the 15th and 16th century. This is a translation of the inscription on an exterior plaque to the left of the palace: In this palace lived two princesses of Nevers who later became Queens of Poland. Louise-Marie de Gonzague married Ladislas IV and later Jean Casimir. Marie de Lagrance d’Arquian married Jean Sobieski. They exerted influence on the life of Poland during 51 years from 1645 to 1696. This began an exemplary history between France and Poland. In adversity and in prosperity, a fidelity existed between them.

Photograph of a painting of the Ducal palace.

Pierre Bérégovoy, Prime Minister of France from April 1992 to March 1993 under President François Mitterand, was the mayor of Nevers in 1983. On the 1st of May 1993, Bérégovoy was found shot twice in the head at Nevers. It was ruled a “suicide,” but he left no suicide note and a notebook which he kept on his person at all times was missing. “During his inaugural speech in the French National Assembly, he claimed he knew the names of politicians from the right-wing opposition implicated in corruption scandals” … (See: article in Wikipedia on Bérégovoy).

On the 11th of February 1858, an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared in a grotto before a 14-year old girl in Lourdes. This grotto in Lourdes is replicated at St Gildard’s in Nevers (there is a plaque on the grotto that I might have misunderstood as saying in french that it was removed and transferred here; but after some thought and after leaving Nevers, I considered that implausible since pilgrimages to Lourdes surely includes a visit to that grotto).

Bernadette Soubirous, the 14-year old girl, lived in Nevers with the Sisters of Charity from the age of 22, and died there at the age of 35.


Update: I have been able to enlarge another photo with the plaque and the inscription reads: Cette pierre à été détachée de la Grotte de Lourdes à l’endroit meme où… (This rock was detached from the Grotto of Lourdes at the same place where…)

It’s quite ambiguous really. The “rock” referred here could be the rock on the plaque itself (although it doesn’t look like a rock); or it could refer to the rock of the grotto, which I first thought, but found unlikely.

Update (26 July 2009): From a brochure provided by the Nevers tourism office, it states that the grotto at the Espace Bernadette is a reconstruction of the grotto of Massabielle.

Inside a chapel at the church of St Gildard, St Bernadette lies in a glass coffin. Exhumed thrice, her body showed no decay and was well-preserved. She has laid in her crystal resting place since 1925.

See: Bernadette Soubirous: The Sleeping Saint of Nevers

See: St Bernadette of Lourdes

Nevers city map

(Click on the map image above to enlarge it, then click once again using the magnifying glass icon to zoom in on an area).