Top Historic Sights in Île d'Yeu, France

Explore the historic highlights of Île d'Yeu

St. Saviour’s Church

The church of Saint Saviour (L'église de Saint-Sauveur) was originally built around 1040 by monks. The present Neo-Gothic style date from the reconstruction made in 1857 to the grounds of medieval church.
Founded: ca. 1040 | Location: Île d'Yeu, France

Pointe des Corbeaux Lighthouse

The Pointe des Corbeaux lighthouse was constructed in 1950 to replace an earlier tower destroyed during World War II. Along with the Île d'Yeu lighthouse, it is one of two lighthouses on the island to have been designed by Maurice Durand; construction of both was completed in the same year. The first lighthouse on the point was lit on September 1, 1862. A small tourelle encased in masonry, it stood 38 feet tall, an ...
Founded: 1950 | Location: Île d'Yeu, France

Vieux Chateau de Isle d'Yeu

The Vieux-château de l'île d'Yeu ("Old castle of the Isle of Yeu") is a fortification on the island of île d'Yeu. Olivier IV de Clisson, a great builder of castles, undertook the work with the aim of protecting the islanders in the event of foreign invasion. The longest of these had been led by the famous English pirate, Robert Knolles, who managed to seize the castle in 1355 and occupied the island ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Île d'Yeu, France

Fort de Pierre-Levée

Fort de Pierre-Levée, also known as La Citadelle is a fortress built between 1858-1866. It was purposed for 400 soldiers. Since 1871 the fortress functioned as a barracks and prison. The most famous prisoner was Philippe Pétain (1856-1951), a French general who reached the distinction of Marshal of France, and was later Chief of State of Vichy France during World War II. He died in Fort de Pierre-Levé ...
Founded: 1858-1866 | Location: Île d'Yeu, France

Dolmen des petits Fradets

The dolmen was erected around 300 BC.
Founded: 300 BC | Location: Île d'Yeu, France

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Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.