The Little Chapel created in July 1914 by Brother Déodat. He planned to create a miniature version of the grotto and basilica at Lourdes, the Rosary Basilica. It has been said that it is the smallest functioning chapel in Europe, if not the world, and it is believed to be the world’s smallest consecrated church.

The chapel was originally 9 feet long by 4.5 feet wide. After taking criticism from other brothers Déodat demolished the chapel. He finished a second chapel in July 1914 (measuring 9 feet by 6 feet). However, when the Bishop of Portsmouth visited in 1923, he could not fit through the door, so Déodat again demolished it. The third and current version of the chapel started soon after the last demolition, and measures 16 feet by 9 feet. Déodat went to France in 1939 and died there, never having seen his chapel finished.

The chapel was brought sudden fame following a Daily Mirror article, which led to islanders donating coloured china, the Lieutenant-Governor of the island offered mother of pearl, and other gifts came from around the globe.

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Founded: 1914
Category: Religious sites in United Kingdom

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andy Gairn (5 months ago)
Well worth a visit very ornate.
Julie Wilson (7 months ago)
The Little Chapel - Les Vauxbelets valley, Saint Andrew, Guernsey The chapel was originally built by Brother Déodat in March 1914 measuring 9 feet long by 4.5 feet wide. This is his 3rd version which was rebuilt in the early 1930's and now measures 16 feet long by 9 feet wide and can hold eight people.. This little church is probable the biggest tourist attraction in Guernsey and is decorated with seashells, pebbles, and broken china. There is no charge to enter the Chapel as it relies totally on public donations. The Little Chapel is a must visit during your trip to Guernsey, and makes for a great photo opportunity. Roadside parking - free.
Wendy Samson (8 months ago)
This is a unique church built by a priest out of pieces of ceramic. Well worth a visit
Graham Smith (10 months ago)
Amazing place made from sea shells. Since my first visit many years ago the Chapel has been modernised due to a need to support part of the structure. This has hardly changed the exterior but those in charge have taken the opportunity to add spot lights, chairs and appropriate recorded music all in keeping with the location. As well as a glass door to the higher and arguably more usual entrance with a solid wooden door below and to the opposite side.You can light a candle. You can also make a donation toward the Chapels upkeep. That is a must do in my book.
Ginny Cowley (12 months ago)
What a beautiful surprise to find this place. Very calm and peaceful atmosphere. Many many hours of concentration and creativity put into the construction. Highly recommended a visit.
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Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.