Religious sites in France

Serrabone Priory

Serrabone Priory is a former monastery of Canons Regular in the commune of Boule-d"Amont. The priory is located in a wild and beautiful area in the valley of the Boulès in the heart of an oak forest, at the centre of the Aspres mountain range. It is famous for its splendid marble rostrum from the 12th century, regarded as a masterpiece of Romanesque art. The name of the monastery derives from the Catalan serr ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Boule-d'Amont, France

St. Martin's Church

The 9th-century church houses today a superb collection of religious statues dating from the 14th century.
Founded: 9th century | Location: Angers, France

Daoulas Abbey Ruins

The buildings of former Daoulas Abbey - a cloister and a 12th century font, an oratory and a monumental 16th century fountain, together with the 18th century conventual house - are an exceptional tribute to Breton art from the 10th century onwards. It was established by Guyomarch IV de Léon in 1173, but there has been at least a church since the 6th century. The former abbey was raided and looted by Vikings. Daou ...
Founded: 1173 | Location: Daoulas, France

Carcassonne Cathedral

Carcassonne Cathedral was built in the 13th century as a parish church, dedicated to Saint Michael. Following war damage in the 14th century it was rebuilt as a fortified church. In 1803 St. Michael"s was elevated to cathedral status, replacing the earlier cathedral dedicated to Saints Nazarius and Celsus, now the Basilica of St. Nazaire and St. Celse. The cathedral plan is characterised by its relative simplicity. ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Carcassonne, France

Oloron Cathedral

Oloron Cathedral, now St. Mary"s Church, is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral located in the town of Oloron-Sainte-Marie. It is in the Romanesque and Gothic architectural traditions. Construction was started in the 12th century by Gaston IV, Viscount of Béarn. It was the seat of the Bishopric of Oloron, suppressed by the Concordat of 1801. Restored in 1850, listed in 1939, the cathedral is inscribed ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France

Cagnotte Abbey Church

Cagnotte Abbey was founded in 1141 by Cistercian community and the church was inaugurated in 1217. The abbey was damaged badly during the French Wars of Religion 1570 and demolished in 1776. The current parish church and parts of monastic buildings have survived.
Founded: 1141 | Location: Cagnotte, France

Notre-Dame-de-la-Fin-des-Terres Basilica

Notre-Dame-de-la-Fin-des-Terres Basilica, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1998 as part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela. Tradition goes back to the legend of St. Veronica, the origin of this church. In the first century of our era, after the death of the Virgin, Saint Veronica, Saint Amadour and Saint Martial from Palestine, landed in Soulac. Veronique then raised a modest oratory to the memory of the Virgin, a ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Soulac-sur-Mer, France

Saint-François Xavier Church

A 'seminary for foreign missions' had been set up on rue du Bac in 1637 by Monseigneur Duval, with an accord from pope Urban VIII, during the Counter Reformation. The seminary's oratory or chapel was built between 1683 and 1689, with interior decoration by Jacques Stella, Nicolas Poussin and Simon Vouet, and it was this chapel that operated secretly as a parish church for the area during the Revolutionary era when the are ...
Founded: 1637 | Location: Paris, France

St. Peter's Church

St. Peter"s (Saint-Pierre) Church in Vienne is one of the oldest in France, dating from the 6th century. From its initial configuration it has maintained the layout of a basilica. In 1872, an archaeological museum opened presenting sculptures, mosaics and sarcophagi.
Founded: 6th century | Location: Vienne, France

Abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou

The abbey of Saint-Martin-du-Canigou is located in the Pyrenees on Canigou mountain near the Spanish border. The original Romanesque style monastery was built from 1005 to 1009 by Guifred, Count of Cerdanya, in atonement for the murder of his son and was populated by Benedictine monks. In 1049, Guifred, Count of Cerdanya, died at the monastery he had built. In 1051 a messenger set forth to visit religious houses througho ...
Founded: 1005-1009 | Location: Canigou, France

St Martin's Church

The Church of St. Martin stands has stood in the same place since 1294. The patron saint of the parish, owes its name to Martin of Tours. In 1451, then in ruins, it was consecrated by the archbishop Pey Berland, which offered the reconstruction once the Hundred Years War was over. After about 20 years of renovation, it is classified today as a historic monument.
Founded: 1451 | Location: Bordeaux, France

Lagrasse Abbey

The Abbey of St. Mary of Lagrasse is a Romanesque Benedictine abbey whose origins date to the 7th century. Despite a legend attributing its creation to Charlemagne, the monastic community was founded in the 7th century by the abbot of Narbonne, Nimphridius, who adopted the Benedictine rule. It was elevated to the rank of abbey in 779 and enriched quickly thanks to donation from lords from the neighbourhood and the county ...
Founded: 779 AD | Location: Lagrasse, France

Lescar Cathedral

The building of Lescar Cathedral was begun in 1120 by Bishop Guy de Lons, and was sacked by the Protestants during the reign of Jeanne III of Navarre. It was restored in the 17th and 18th centuries. The apse, housing a pavement mosaic from the 12th century with hunting scenes, is in Romanesque style. In the interior, columns have capitals depicting histories of the life of Daniel, of the birth of Christ and the S ...
Founded: 1120 | Location: Lescar, France

Basilica of Saint-Romain

The Basilica of Saint-Romain in Blaye was an important Merovingian basilica, the resting-place of Charibert II, a son of Clotaire II who was briefly king of Aquitaine from 629 to his death in 632, and of his son. According to the 12th-century Chanson de Roland contained the body and relics of the Carolingian folk-hero Roland, who was a seigneur of Blaye in the eighth century. The nominal patron of the basilica, belonging ...
Founded: 7th century AD | Location: Blaye, France

St-André-le-Bas Church

The abbey of Saint-Andre-le-Bas was founded in the 8th century by Duke Ansemund. The church was originally a chapel of the palace of kings of Burgundy built in the end of the 9th century. The abbey flourished in the High Middle Ages.  The troubles of the Hundred Years" War and the competition of the new religious orders reduced the power of the convent and it was unable to recover from the Wars of religion. ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Vienne, France

Caunes-Minervois Abbey

The foundation of the Benedictine abbey Caunes-Minervois was the work of Aniane, Saint Benoît d'Aniane's friend, at the end of the 8th century. Originally under the direct protection of the King of France, the monastery later passed into the hands of the Count of Barcelona, before ending up as a possession of the Trencavel family who decided to renounce their rights in 1195. During the Crusade against the Albigensi ...
Founded: 8th century | Location: Caunes-Minervois, France

Flaran Abbey

Flaran Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey located in Valence-sur-Baïse. The abbey was founded in 1151, as a daughter house of Escaladieu Abbey, at the confluence of the Auloue and Baïserivers, between the towns of Condom and Auch. The abbey was founded by Burgundian monks and today represents one of the best preserved abbeys in the south-west of France. After its foundation, Flaran Abbey experienced rap ...
Founded: 1151 | Location: Valence-sur-Baïse, France

Valmagne Abbey

Valmagne Abbey was founded in 1138 by Raymond Trencavel, Vicomte de Béziers. Valmagne then experienced a time of rapid growth as local landowners bestowed both land and money on the monastery. The buildings were extended and a vineyard of 5 hectares was established by the monks. From the 12th century to the beginning of the 14th century, Valmagne was one of the richest monasteries in southern France and at its peak was ...
Founded: 1138 | Location: Villeveyrac, France

St. Catherine Church

St. Catherine Church has undergone numerous changes over the centuries. It was originally built around the end of the 13th century, in the Occitan Gothic style; several 13th century features remain, such as the holy water stoup. It formed part of the defensive system of town walls and was at the entrance to the village. During the Wars of Religion in the 16th century, the building was badly damaged, and the church bells ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Penne, France

Notre-Dame de Bon-Port

Notre-Dame de Bon-Port is a basilica constructed in 1846 by the architects Seheult and Joseph-Fleury Chenantais. Its official name is Église de Saint-Louis (Basilica of Saint-Louis), though it is rarely known by this name. The dome which tops it is modelled on that of Les Invalides in Paris. At the top of the spire lies an archangel representing Saint Gabriel.
Founded: 1846 | Location: Nantes, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Petersberg Citadel

The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.