Religious sites in France

St. Mary's Abbey

Arles-sur-Tech is best known for its abbey, which allegedly holds the relics of Saints Abdon and Sennen in a sarcophagus called Sainte Tombe, traditionally believed to have been brought from Rome 10th century. Its waters are traditionally believed to hold miraculous healing properties. The Benedictine abbey of Sainte-Marie was founded in 778 and is the oldest Carolingian abbey in Catalonia. The main square contains the h ...
Founded: 778 AD | Location: Arles-sur-Tech, France

St. Taurin's Abbey Church

Founded in the 10th century by Richard sans Peur (Richard the Fearless), duke of Normandy, the St. Taurin"s abbey church was built on the suspicious spot of St. Taurin grave, the first bishop and evangelizer of Evreux. During the Hundred Years" War the abbey was burnt down. It was left to decay and the last monks were banished during the Revolution. The former Benedictine abbey church became a parish church. The ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Évreux, France

Sarrance Monastery

Sarrance Monastery belonged to the Betharram Fathers who had replaced the Premonstratensians who left after the French Revolution. The Premonstratensian order founded their monastery in this place in 1345, the site of a Marian pilgrimage dating from the 12th century. They maintained religious services in this place, served the parish and welcomed pilgrims and travellers on the Roman road to Santiago de Compostela.
Founded: 1345 | Location: Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France

Kreisker Chapel

The Notre-Dame du Kreisker chapel is a former Roman Catholic chapel. With its 78 meters rising up in the sky, the church tower is the highest in Brittany. The word Kreisker means the downtown. Built in 14th and 15th centuries on the site of an ancient place of worship, it’s one of the major works of Breton religious architecture and a testimony of the flourishing economy of the town in 15th century with the highest ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Saint-Pol-de-Léon, France

Church of Saint-Bruno des Chartreux

The Church of Saint-Bruno des Chartreux is the only Baroque church in Lyon. The first monastic communities here were established by Carthusian monks from Grenoble, thanks to their good relations with the church in Lyon. They initially came to help the clergy of Lyon when the city was pillaged by Forez Guy in the 12th century and later obtained privileges such as an exemption from tolls on their journeys to Lyon. On a visi ...
Founded: 1590-1690 | Location: Lyon, France

Locmaria Church

Locmaria Church (L"église Notre-Dame-de-Locmaria) is a fine example of Breton Romanesque architecture. The nave, built in the 11th century, is the oldest part. Two 12th century arches have been also preserved. The church was restored in Gothic style between the 12th and 16th centuries. There is a gallery from the cloister built in 1669 in the garden of the former Benedictine priory.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Quimper, France

Ronceray Abbey

Situated on the northern side of the city, across the River Maine from the main old town area of the city, this delightful abbey is one of the most historic ecclesiastical buildings in the area and a fine example of Anjou architecture. The building has for many centuries served as a place of worship and religious observance. The structure has benefited from a series of overhauls in the last few hundred years, making it a ...
Founded: 1060-1119 | Location: Angers, France

Cléry Abbey Church

The earlier church of Cléry-Saint-André Abbey from the 13th century was destroyed in Hundred Years" War in 1428. Only the tower survived until in 1449 Charles VII and Count Jean de Dunois ordered to build a new church. It was completed in 1485. The nave is 80m long and 27m high. The altar dates from the 19th century. The most notable inventory in the Cléry church is tomb of Louis XI of France. He ...
Founded: 1449-1485 | Location: Cléry-Saint-André, France

Saint Michael's Church

The Saint Michael"s Church (Église Saint-Michel de Pont-l"Évêque) was built between 1480-1530 in late Gothic style. There are three naves without transept and the tower.
Founded: 1480-1530 | Location: Pont-l'Évêque, France

Paimpont Abbey

Paimpont Abbey was originally built by the King of Dumnonia in the 7th century, probably around 630 AD. It was destroyed by Vikings in the 9th century. The construction of current abbey building was started in 1199. The present buildings are works from the 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th century. Paimpont Abbey was closed down during the Great Revolution in 1790, but several buildings have survived. The Abbey is home to many fi ...
Founded: 1199 | Location: Ille-et-Vilaine, France

Abbey of St. Martin

The Abbey of St. Martin, established in 1124 in Laon in northern France, was one of the earliest foundations of the Premonstratensian Order. Along with Cuissy Abbey and Floreffe Abbey it counted as one of the primarii inter pares, or senior houses, of the order. The Premonstratensian community was founded by Barthélemy of Jur, bishop of Laon, in co-operation with Saint Norbert of Xanten, who settled it with twelve can ...
Founded: 1124 | Location: Laon, France

Saint-Yved de Braine

Saint-Yved is a church in Braine, Aisne in which the Counts of Dreux are buried. It was dedicated to Saint Yved, whose relics were brought to Braine in the ninth century. Originally a chapter of secular canons, the the abbey was given to the Premonstratensian order by the Bishop of Soissons in 1130. Braine is an ancient land steeped in history at the crossroads of an ancient Roman road. At an early date it was the summer ...
Founded: 1180 | Location: Braine, France

Abbey of St John

The Abbey of St. John was a Benedictine monastery in Laon, France, from 1128 to 1766, which replaced a nunnery founded in 641. The prefecture of the department of Aisne now occupies the site. In 641 Saint Sadalberga, sister of Saint Leudinus Bodo, disciple of Saint Eustace, second abbot of Luxeuil, and widow of Saint Blandinus, retired to Laon, where she founded a nunnery outside the city walls, south of the town. The de ...
Founded: 1128 | Location: Laon, France

Saint-Gabriel Priory

The Priory of Saint-Gabriel (Prieuré de Saint-Gabriel) was founded in 1058 to serve the ambitions of the Count of Creully and to stretch the prestige of Fécamp Abbey. The monastery was closed down in 1674 sold to State after Revolution. The priory comprises an entrance porch, a former refectory, a tower and a court room. Today it houses the horticulture and landscaped gardening school and boasts a rose garde ...
Founded: 1058 | Location: Saint-Gabriel-Brécy, France

Cervione Cathedral

Saint Erasmus cathedral in Cervione, which was completed in 1745, and is an fine example of the Baroque style. It was built on the site of previous cathedral, dating from 1578. 
Founded: 1714-1745 | Location: Cervione, France

Chapelle de Notre Dame du Salut

According the legend Chapelle de Notre Dame du Salut was built by Robert I, Duke of Normandy after he was survived from shipwreck. The chapel dates however probably from the 14th century and it was rebuilt in the 17th century. The notable detail is a gilded statue of the Virgin on the roof.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Fécamp, France

Éauze Cathedral

Eauze former cathedral is a national monument. It was the ecclesiastical seat of the former Diocese of Eauze, which was merged into the Bishopric of Auch, probably in the 9th century. Eauze Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Luperculus, who is said to have been a bishop here in the 3rd century before being martyred. Odon, Count of Fezensac, founded a Benedictine monastery on this site After 960 AD. In 1088, the m ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Eauze, France

Alès Cathedral

Alès was formerly a centre of the Huguenots and was taken only after a long siege by Louis XIII in 1627. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Alès was established here in 1694, at which time the construction of the cathedral began, but was not restored after the French Revolution: by the Concordat of 1801 its parishes were divided between the dioceses of Avignon and Mende. Alès and its cathedral lie near th ...
Founded: 1694 | Location: Alès, France

Saint-Roman Cave Abbey

The Abbey of Saint-Roman is a cave monastery which includes the ruins of a castle (château de Saint-Roman-d"Aiguille), a chapel, cloisters, terrace, tombs and walls. It was constructed in the 9th, 10th, 12th and 15th centuries. The abbey is reached by a signposted path from Beaucaire which leads past a vast chamber and the monks’ cells to the chapel carved out of the rock which contains the tomb of St Ro ...
Founded: 9th century | Location: Beaucaire, France

Monastery of Chartreuse St. Sauveur

The monastery of Chartreuse St Sauveur, listed monument and unmissable site in the region, is a 15th century flamboyant Gothic masterpiece. During the visit you will discover the great cloister, one of the biggest in France, the small cloister, flamboyant Gothic masterpiece, and the chapel. Built on the edge of the town between 1451 and 1459 thanks to the legacy of a rich cloth merchant from Villefranche, Vezian Valette, ...
Founded: 1451 | Location: Villefranche-de-Rouergue, 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.