Religious sites in France

Notre-Dame de Nantilly

Notre-Dame de Nantilly is the oldest church in Saumur. It was town’s principal place of worship for centuries. The church has a collection of 16th-17th century tapestries, as well as carved capitals and an epitaph composed by the poet-king René I.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Saumur, France

Aire Cathedral

Aire Cathedral, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, is located in the town of Aire-sur-l"Adour. It was the seat of the Bishops of Aire until the diocese was abolished in 1801 and again from 1822 when the diocese was restored; in 1857 it was renamed the Diocese of Aire and Dax. In 1933 the bishop moved to Dax, making Dax Cathedral his seat, when the cathedral at Aire became a co-cathedral. The cathedral is s ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Aire-sur-l'Adour, France

Pontoise Cathedral

Pontoise Cathedral, raised to the status of cathedral in 1966 when the Diocese of Pontoise was created, is dedicated to Saint Maclovius (Maclou). Construction began in the 12th century on the site of an ancient chapel of Saint Eustace and the building was enlarged and completed in the 15th and 16th centuries. Thus the central and eastern parts of the cathedral are 12th century, while the tower and the central portal are i ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Pontoise, France

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

La Romieu Church

Arnaud d"Aux was born in the little village of La Romieu in Gascony in 1265 and later became cardinal in 1312. To honour his birth he ordered the construction of this Collegiale de La Romieu. As a result an abbey with a church, two towers and a court were constructed in gothic style were completed in 1318. One of the towers is an octoganal completely closed structure. The other tower is a much more square-shaped ope ...
Founded: 1318 | Location: La Romieu, France

Collobrieres Monastery

La Chartreuse de la Verne, Carthusian monastery in Collobrieres, was built in 1174, however in 1264 and 1271 it was burned down. It wasn"t until the sixteenth century that the present chapel and the great south gate were built. The current Chartreuse is a lovely and imposing set of buildings, completely isolated in a hilly forest of pine, oak and chestnut, overlooking the artificial lake, Lac de la Verne. The driv ...
Founded: 1174 | Location: Collobrieres, France

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas Church is a large, cruciform town church set on Place Dalton at the heart of the lower town which clusters below the walls of the citadel. Due to the destruction of the French Revolution, WWI and WWII it is the most significant surviving medieval building in the town. The church is first mentioned in 1208 as a foundation of the Abbey of Notre-Dame within the citadel, a relationship which existed into the 16t ...
Founded: 1208 | Location: Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Cambrai Cathedral

Cambrai Cathedral was built between 1696 and 1703 on the site of a former 11th century building, as the church of the Abbey of St-Sulpice. During the French Revolution the old cathedral of Cambrai was destroyed, but the abbey church survived because it was used as a Temple of Reason. When the ecclesiastical status of Cambrai was restored in 1802, albeit as a diocese rather than as an archdiocese, which it had previously b ...
Founded: 1696-1703 | Location: Cambrai, France

St. Paul's Church

The 15th century church of St-Paul, south of the Place du Martroi in Orléans, was badly damaged during the Second World War. In the chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Miracles (rebuilt in the 17th century) is a 16th century Black Virgin.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Orléans, France

Laval Cathedral

Laval Cathedral (Cathédrale de la Sainte-Trinité de Laval) was founded around 1070, but the current exterior dates mainly from 1855 when it was promoted as a cathedral. The cathedral has been enlarged several times during centuries. There were originally dozen altarpieces, but only one survived from the French Revolution. It was built in the 17th century. The pulpit was made in 1803 and marble font in 1554.
Founded: c. 1070 | Location: Laval, France

Église Notre-Dame

Église Notre-Dame ('The Church of Our Lady') dates from the 12th century, and chiefly from the 14th century. It is a sample of Tudor architecture due Calais was part of England for centuries. The church was damaged during the early wars between France and England, especially in 1346-47, after the Battle of Crécy. Many of the kings and queens of France and England prayed here; and John Bourchier, 2n ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Calais, France

Maguelone Cathedral

Maguelone Cathedral stands on an isthmus between the Étang de l'Arnel lake and the Mediterranean Sea in the Gulf of Lion, which was once the site of the original city of Maguelone, opposite the present-day town of Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone. Maguelone Cathedral was once the episcopal seat of the former Bishop of Maguelone until 1563, when the see was transferred to the newly created Bishopric of Montpellier. The cathedr ...
Founded: 1030-1060 | Location: Villeneuve-lès-Maguelone, France

Sospel Cathedral

Sospel Cathedral formerly the seat of the schismatic Bishopric of Sospel, created in 1378. Apart from a belltower of either the 11th or the 13th century, from the Lombard period of Sospel"s history, the cathedral was built between 1642 and 1762, and is claimed to be the largest building in the Alpes-Maritimes. The Renaissance façade is from 1642, and contains in two niches the statues of the town"s prote ...
Founded: 1642-1762 | Location: Sospel, France

Abbaye de Noirlac

The Cistercian Abbaye de Noirlac, founded in 1136, is a fine example of medieval monastic architecture. The chapter house, where the monks’ daily assemblies were held, and the cellier, where the lay brothers were in charge of the food, wine and grain stores, were built in plain but elegant style. The cloisters, with their graceful arches and decorated capitals, date from the 13th and 14th centuries, which was a less ...
Founded: 1136 | Location: Bruère-Allichamps, France

St. Mary's Church

Mentioned for the first time in 1018, the St. Mary"s Church, owned by the bishops of Elne, was acquired by count Wilfred II of Cerdanya, who made their capital in the town, in 1025. In 1094 count William I ordered the construction of a monastery here, which was founded in 1097 and entrusted to the Augustinians. Until 1167, the priory acquired numerous privileges and possessions, including castles and villages. In 13 ...
Founded: 1097 | Location: Corneilla-de-Conflent, France

Fontenelle Abbey

Fontenelle Abbey was founded by Wandregisel or Saint Wandrille (died 668) on land obtained through the influence of Wandregisel"s friend Saint Ouen, Archbishop of Rouen. Saint Wandrille held a high position at the court of his king, Dagobert I, but wishing to devote his life to God, he retired to the abbey of Montfaucon, in Champagne, in 629. In 648 he returned to Normandy and established the monastery of Fontenelle; ...
Founded: 649 AD | Location: Saint-Wandrille-Rançon, France

Tarbes Cathedral

Tarbes Cathedral was established during the 12th century. There remain two apses of the choir. A first extension was made in the 14th century by the addition of a Gothic nave. Its extension extended until the 18th century with the outer span. The cathedral resembles a fortress as it was built with round pebbles from the river Adour which have also been used for the construction of many houses in Tarbes. It can accommod ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tarbes, France

Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame

The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame was founded between 1016 and 1031 by Robert II of France. Until around 1775 it housed the Melun Diptych painted in 1450.
Founded: 1016-1031 | Location: Melun, France

Villelongue Abbey

The Villelongue Cistercian monastery was first established on the lands of the neighbouring county of Saissac, before being transferred to its present location, around the 12th century: a donation was granted in 1149 to the Cistercian Order, and to Guillaume, a monk who came, with 12 companions, from the abbey of Bonnefont de Comminges. Construction of the monastery began in 1180. At the beginning of the 13th century, Si ...
Founded: 1180 | Location: Saint-Martin-le-Vieil, France

Church of St. Etienne

There has been a church dedicated to St. Etienne (Saint Stephen) in Chinon since the 11th century but the current church was constructed between 1460 and 1490. It comprises a nave of five bays, two side chapels, a choir of two bays and a polygonal apse. The flamboyant gothic influence is in evidence from the moment you step through the elaborate portal. The stained glass windows are by the master glass-maker Julien-Leopo ...
Founded: 1460-1490 | Location: Chinon, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Tyniec Abbey

Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.

In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.

In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.