Religious sites in France

Our Lady of the Fountain Church

Our Lady of the Fountain (Notre-Dame des Fontaines) is a Roman Catholic shrine located four kilometers (2.5 miles) from La Brigue, France, very close to the Italian border. The name derives from seven local springs that emerge from the rocks. It is one of the main tourist destinations in La Brigue, receiving up to 12,000 tourists per year. The shrine is noted for a huge 15th-century fresco painting, depicting the cyc ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: La Brigue, France

La Lucerne Abbey

La Lucerne Abbey (Abbaye Sainte-Trinité de La Lucerne) was founded in 1143 by Hasculf de Subligny, son of Othoerne, the tutor of William Adelin, both of whom perished in the White Ship disaster of 1120, and later had the support of the English crown. The new monastery was settled from Dommartin Abbey near Hesdin. The foundation stone of the permanent buildings was laid in 1164 by Achard of St. Victor, who was later ...
Founded: 1143 | Location: La Lucerne-d'Outremer, France

Saint-Sever-de-Rustan Abbey

The Abbey of Saint-Sever-de-Rustan is one of the most exciting architectural Hautes-Pyrenees. In Gallo-Roman origin, the site hosts an early Benedictine abbey. It promotes the birth of the fortified town which is fast becoming the capital of Rustan. The ancient Romanesque Abbey reaches us, over the years, such reconstructions of destruction in a ship stranded on the shores of Arros. All major architectural styles of the p ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Saint-Sever-de-Rustan, France

Sainte-Gauburge Priory

The Sainte-Gaubuge priory was originally a hamlet, which is very well preserved. All the houses are located around the priory. The church building dates from the 13th, 15th and 18th century. The canons of St. Denis are at the origin of the most beautiful architecture sites. Rich carved decorations (13th and 15th century), the house of the prior has magnificent chimneys listed (15th century), and the vaults (13th century) ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Saint-Cyr-la-Rosière, France

Saint Germain's Chapel

The Chapel of Saint Germanus (Chapelle Saint-Germain) is one of the earliest surviving places of Christian worship in the Cotentin Peninsula. It is a small building with walls built from small pieces of shale arranged in a herringbone pattern. The chapel consists of a short nave, and transepts and a choir each formed from an identical apse with half domed roofs. This tri-lobate plan, which is unusual, is the result of a r ...
Founded: 800-900 AD | Location: Querqueville, France

Choisy Cathedral

Choisy Cathedral, otherwise known as the Church of St. Louis and St. Nicholas, was the first cathedral of the diocese of Créteil, from 1966, when the diocese was created, to 1987, when the present Créteil Cathedral was inaugurated. The church was built by the architect Ange-Jacques Gabriel under commission from Louis XV to provide a suitable place of worship for the court when the king was staying at his ne ...
Founded: 1748-1760 | Location: Choisy-le-Roi, France

Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre Abbey

The Church of Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre is one of the oldest in the region, as it was formerly a Benedictine abbey founded in the early 11th century. Throughout the centuries it has undergone many transformations but also suffered major damage during the religious wars of the 16th century and the earthquake of 1660. Far-reaching changes were made between the 12th and 13th centuries, inspired by the Romanesque style. This is w ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre, France

Relec Abbey Ruins

The Abbaye du Relec was founded in 1132. It had an innovative hydraulic mechanism for irrigating the gardens and pumping water through the buildings. It also made a significant contribution to the local economy by developing the lands called La Quévaise. Today There is a large Romanesque church, vestiges of cloisters, two lakes, a pathway lined with trees, a monumental fountain and ancient gardens surrounded by deep ditc ...
Founded: 1132 | Location: Plounéour-Ménez, France

Combelongue Abbey

The abbey of Combelongue was founded in 1138 by Arnauld d"Austria, count of Pallars for one of his sons Antoine, who became the first abbot. It was on the way of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela which made the abbey prosperous until the 14th century. From 1446 the abbey began to decline. It was affected by the Black Death (1353-1355) and damaged during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religi ...
Founded: 1138 | Location: Rimont, France

Fontgombault Abbey

Fontgombault Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Fontgombault) is a Benedictine monastery of the Solesmes Congregation. In 1091 Pierre de l'Étoile founded a Benedictine monastery on the banks of the Creuse River, near the spring or fount of Gombaud. In the 12th and 13th centuries the abbey experienced vigorous growth and established twenty or so priories. In the 15th century the abbots of Fontgombault had numerous ponds excavate ...
Founded: 1091 | Location: Fontgombault, France

Church of the Trinity and San Giovanni

The Church of the Trinity and San Giovanni is a Romanesque and Pisan-style building from the 11th century. In the church"s chapel, two murals depicting Doctors of the Church and Saint George slaying the dragon date from 1449 and 1458 respectively. In 2011, an archaeological evaluation was carried out on the church"s nave in favor of a restoration campaign. Like the chapels at Montegrosso and Lumi ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Aregno, France

Saint-Cyr Church

Commenced in the 15th century and completed in the 19th, the Gothic church has a magnificent stained-glass window from the 15th Century, representing the life of Saint Cyr and his mother, Juliette; a painting by Jean Boucher (1575-1651) above the large portico; as well as six superb candelabra given by Louis XIV to the town and listed as an historic monument.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Issoudun, France

Beaulieu-lès-Loches Abbey

A great abbey church named Belli Locus dedicated to the Holy Sepulchre was founded in the early 11th century by Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, who is buried in the chancel. In 1011 Pope Sergius IV donated some relics of Saints Chrysanthus and Daria and Fulk himself a piece of the Holy Sepulchre he stole from his visit to Jerusalem to the abbey. The pope settled a dispute over the abbey's consecration with the Archbishop of T ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Beaulieu-lès-Loches, France

Valmont Abbey

Valmont Abbey (Notre-Dame-du-Pré de Valmont) was a Benedictine abbey founded in 1169 by Nicolas d"Estouteville with Benedictines split off from Hambye Abbey. It never held more than 25 monks and was destroyed and rebuilt several times, with the abbey church only truly completed in the 16th century – countess Marie II of Saint-Pol is buried in it. The abbey buildings were built from 1678 to 1782 under Lo ...
Founded: 1169 | Location: Valmont, France

La Clarté-Dieu Abbey

The Abbey of La Clarté-Dieu was a Cistercian monastery. The abbey was founded in 1239 by the executors of Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, as one of a pair, the other being Netley Abbey in Hampshire, England. The bishop had conceived the idea of founding a pair of monasteries some years before and had begun collecting the necessary endowments for them, but his death in 1238 prevented him from completing ...
Founded: 1239 | Location: Eaunes, France

Saint-Girons Church

L"église Saint-Girons edifice is in the Gothic architectural style. Its grand size made it the largest Gothic church in Béarn in the 15th century. It is most famous for its heart of oak frame which represents the Medieval architecture style. In the 16th century, Monein was a growing village with over 5,000 residents. The old Romanesque church Sant-Pée became too small for the residents, so it was decided ...
Founded: 1464-1530 | Location: Monein, France

L'Étanche Abbey

L"Étanche Abbey is a former Premonstratensian monastery founded in the 12th century, the ruins of which are near the modern village of Deuxnouds-aux-Bois, in the commune of Lamorville. The abbey of Notre-Dame de l"Étanche was founded in about 1144 by Philippe, abbot of Belval, in a secluded valley then known as Faverolles, near Deuxnouds-aux-Bois. The first patrons of the foundation were Albéron de Chiny, b ...
Founded: c. 1144 | Location: Lamorville, France

Notre Dame de Guibray Church

The church of the suburb of Guibray, situated outside the walls of Falaise and to the south, occupies the primitive site of a pagan sanctuary, transformed into a chapel, in the Merovingian period, before 650. In c. 1000, a new church was built, and re-worked between the end of the 11th century and the end of the 12th century, on a Romanesque plan with a central nave, two side aisles and a short transept, at the instigati ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Falaise, France

Belloc Abbey

Belloc Abbey, Abbaye Notre-Dame de Belloc, is a Benedictine monastery located in Urt, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It was founded in 1875. The community, which comprises about 40 monks, follows the Rule of St. Benedict and belongs to the Subiaco Cassinese Congregation. The brothers offer the hospitality of their house to men, households and groups requiring silence or spiritual guidance. To support themselves they pri ...
Founded: 1875 | Location: Urt, France

Notre Dame des Cyclistes

The chapel of Notre-Dame des Cyclistes is situated in the commune of Labastide-d"Armagnac. The chapel is all that remains of a 12th-century fortress of the Knights Templar. The Château de Géou was razed by the Black Prince in 1355. In 1958, Father Joseph Massie, pastor of Créon-d"Armagnac, Mauvezin-d"Armagnac and Lagrange, was inspired by the chapel of Madonna del Ghisallo in Italy to make a similar ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Labastide-d'Armagnac, France

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.

History

The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.