The church of the former St. Vaast's Abbey was rebuilt in classical style as a replacement cathedral. It is 'a very large building, the erection of which was begun in 1755 from plans by Pierre Contant d'Ivry, the architect who later created designs for the Church of La Madeleine in Paris. The work was interrupted during the Revolution, then resumed by virtue of a municipal decree dated “Nivôse 27, Year XII”, which ran: “... to erect the edifice, abandoning everything in the original plans connected with decoration and architectural beauty, limiting the work to the requirements of solidity and decency.” The church was finished in accordance with these prescriptions, being completed in 1834. The interior was of plaster-coated brickwork, whilst the columns were of undressed stone, covered with stone-coloured mortar. The capitals were of stucco-work.'
The design was chosen by the former abbot of St. Vaast's, the Cardinal de Rohan, and is of remarkable simplicity.
Cathedral showing damage during World War I.
Arras Cathedral was destroyed by shelling in April 1917, during the run-up to the Nivelle offensives of World War I. and subsequently rebuilt in its previous form.