Église Saint-Similien

Nantes, France

The Church of St. Similien is an ancient church in Nantes. After the death of Bishop Similien in 310 AD, his successor, Eumilius, erected over his grave a votive chapel. One hundred years later, the bishop Leo, a Greek (444-458) built a real church to the site. In 848 AD, Nantes was vandalized during the Norman invasions. In 958 the restoration of the building began and was completed towards 1172 by the Duke Geoffroy II.

Following the siege of Nantes by Louis XI in 1487, Bishop Peter of Chaffault, repaired and enlarged the basilica Building it in the form of a Latin cross. The apse is Merovingian but the nave was extended towards the west, and flanked by two crosses.

During the French revolution, the church was closed to worship in 1793 and reopened after the Concordat of 1802. In 1824, the Millennium old building was destroyed and a church with three naves replaced it. The façade and portico were completed in 1835.

Fifteen years later, in 1850, the parish priest and the Church Council were considering the construction of a new church. In 1869, an architect, Eugene Boismen was appointed. The plans he offers were a Gothic building, inspired by those of the first half of the thirteenth century. The north-west facing building will include three naves, two ambulatory, bedside with a chapel which will be placed Our Lady of Mercy. The nave of five bays and end with a facade with two arrows. Permission to build the new church in 1872 is given. The Bishop Félix Fournier blessed the first stone of the new sanctuary on 5 October 1873. The work was completed in 1894 but as early as 1880, the vaults of the apse, the choir and transept were completed.



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Rue Sarrazin 2, Nantes, France
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Founded: 1873
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

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User Reviews

Ka wai Chan (10 months ago)
A cathedral with a remarkable history
Pierre LM (2 years ago)
We got married in the evening around 11 p.m. Very satisfying reverb and comfortable benches. A round of applause for the workers who built this remarkable edifice. Gargoyles with contagious smiles and a very serene Jesus on the cross, although not very talkative. Thank you and have a good Sunday.
Paul Pérucaud (3 years ago)
For 2000 years, in this place, there has been a succession of consecrated buildings. The well located at the entrance to the nave is a remarkable witness to two millennia of history, it existed in the Roman villa mentioned later, and, if it was not in the first chapel, it occupied a location in each of the 5 churches that succeeded him. In the first centuries of the Christian era, a Roman construction surrounded by a cemetery occupied the premises. (Until 313, date of the Emperor Constantine's edict, Christians were persecuted and their bodies buried in the "Martray", at the end of the cemetery). In the 4th century, Saint-Similien, 3rd bishop of Nantes, was recognized as a great evangelizer, his burial place was placed on the site of the Roman construction. Eumalius or Euhemerus I, his successor, had a chapel built around 350 to venerate his predecessor. Pilgrimages began, the attraction of Christians for this cemetery grew, in the hope of being buried next to the Saint. Around 450, the Merovingian era saw the construction of a small basilica, towards the well, in the heights of the cemetery, the sarcophagus of Saint-Similien was moved there. The last two centuries of this first millennium witnessed Viking invasions and the basilica was destroyed and rebuilt several times. In the 12th century, it was fortunately restored, the apse was enlarged. In the 15th century, chapels were added to it, giving it a cross plan, and a bell tower. In the 17th century, the interior of the church was improved, it received an organ. During the French Revolution, it became a stable and the bells were removed to be melted down. 1824-1834, returned to worship, the decision to enlarge the building is taken. It will be 10 years of work to give it a neo-Greek style. But the construction is deteriorating rapidly, the architectural disorders will impose in 1872 the complete reconstruction of the building. 1873-1897 is 25 years of work started to the north of the old church (still standing) with the construction of the new choir. It will be a South-North oriented church, which will descend little by little towards the old church, the latter will be deconstructed as it goes. Funding problems, partially resolved, will allow the construction of the nave and the complete destruction of the old building. But the cash will not make it possible to finalize the facade and the bell towers. It is therefore an unfinished project that presents itself today, the interior fittings of which finished being installed in 1929.
doru dragomir (5 years ago)
After the death of Bishop Similian on June 17, 310, his successor, Eumilius, built a votive chapel on his tomb. A hundred years later, Bishop Leo, a Greek (444-458), built a real church of 20 meters long and 9 meters wide was also called "Saint-Sambin". It ends in the east with an exedra, a narrow apse 4 meters in diameter. The building, which then dominates the "Bourgneuf", built in square stones interspersed with brick chains, will be consecrated on June 24, 419, the day of Saint-Jean-Baptiste's birth. It also has the oldest baptistery in Nantes (vth century).
Olivier Carra (5 years ago)
This church, not far from the Tour de Bretagne, has a magnificent Gothic architecture and pretty stained glass windows, but what surprised me was the number of confessionals. to reproach
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