Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Sées
SÉES, a town of France and a bishop’s see, in the department of Orne, is situated on the Orne, 4 miles from its source and 13 miles north of Alengon by the railway from Le Mans to Caen. The very fine cathedral, dating to a large extent from the 13th and 14th centuries, occupies the site of churches founded in 440, 996, and 1053. The west front has two stately spires of open work 230 feet high, which have been restored more than once in the 19th century. The nave, built in the beginning of the 13th century, was remodelled in its upper portion fifty or sixty years after its erection; the choir, built about 1230 and restored in 1260 after a great fire, is remarkable for the lightness of its construction, the inner galleries of the presbytery being the boldest venture ever made in this kind. In the choir are four bas-reliefs of great beauty and delicacy representing scenes in the life of the Virgin; and the altar is adorned with another depicting the removal of the relics of St Gervais and St Protais. Most of the stained windows are good. Around the cathedral are the cloisters of the canons; the episcopal palace (1778), with a pretty chapel; the great seminary, located in the old abbey of St Martin (supposed to be one of the fourteen or fifteen monasteries founded in the 6th century by St Evroult); the hôtel de ville; and the statue of Conté, a member of the Egyptian expedition of 1798. The population of Sées was 3483 in 1881, and that of the commune 4687.