The church was consecrated by Pope Innocent II in 1130.
The church was decorated with sculptures and carvings by Gislebertus, who is widely regarded as one of the great Romanesque sculptors.
Beneath his feet is the Latin inscription identifying the sculptor: "Gislebertus made this." To the left, apostles incline their heads in veneration towards Christ, except for St.
Peter who turns the other way to conduct righteous souls into heaven.
The cathedral's side chapels are of some interest; one on the right has late-medieval murals of angels and the third one on the left contains the fine by Ingres (1834).
Near the entrance to the chapter house on the south side are the 16th-century funerary statues of Pierre Jeannin and his wife Anne Gueniot.
One person is being hoisted into the Heavenly City by an angel.
The heads of those already there are shown under arches. Peter oversees the operation with a damaged key, taking one righteous soul by the hand.
It survived in a local collection before being given to the Musée Rolin in 1895. This saved them from certain destruction a few decades later, when the tomb of Lazarus and the north tympanum (which had not been plastered over) were smashed to bits by revolutionaries.
The interior of Autun Cathedral is austerely Romanesque and rather dark.
Reflecting the town's Roman heritage, the pilasters and arcading are modelled on the Roman city gates.
The magnificent sculptures survived the French Revolution thanks to local clergy who, ironically, did not like them at all.
In 1766, the canons decided the portal sculptures were mediocre and out of date and accordingly covered them with a thick layer of plaster and painted a more contemporary design over it.