Sainte-Croix d'Oloron Church

Oloron-Sainte-Marie, France

The Sainte-Croix church of Oloron-Sainte-Marie was built from 1080, at the same time as the city of Sainte-Croix was established. Served by canons of the Augustinian order, the church was a parish until the 14th century. It was transformed for a time into a Protestant temple from 1569 to 1621.

Architecturally, the plan is made up of a nave and two side aisles ending in a choir extended by a cul-de-four apse. The north portal is from the Romanesque period, and is decorated with carved capitals. On the other hand, the side portal built in the 19th century was removed in the 20th century to restore the church to its original appearance.

One of the distinctive features of the church is its ribbed dome of Byzantine and Mozarabic inspiration which covers the crossing of the transept. Inside, barrel or semi-barrel vaults are also typical of Romanesque art, like the many capitals with plant motifs or evoking biblical themes.

In the 19th century, large frescoes representing the 'Passion of Christ' and the 'Last Judgment' were painted, particularly in the choir. There is also a pulpit and stalls from the beginning of the 18th century as well as the altar and its altarpiece in the Spanish Baroque style, dating from the same period (1708).



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Founded: 1080
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

jean-françois séguier (3 months ago)
La plus vieille église d'Oloron, pleine de charme
philippe di spigno (3 months ago)
Heritage, always interesting and beautiful, so different.
Lydie Do (3 months ago)
Beautiful architecture, where you can hear a rehearsal choir.
yves majoufre (5 months ago)
Rather difficult to access by bike because perched at the top of a mountain. Avoid getting off your bike because your brakes will go down ?
Claude FRISOU SECHER (7 months ago)
Very beautiful church with an original bell tower.
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