Carentan Church

Carentan, France

Notre-Dame de Carentan was built in the 11th century. It is mentioned for the first time in 1106 at the time of the visit of Henry I of England, on Easter day. From the Romanesque period there remain only the west door, the lower part of the pillars and the four main pillars of the crossing with the Romanesque arches.

During the Hundred Years' War in in 1443 the church was in ruins. Reconstruction started first with the nave and the south aisle. Guillaume de Cerisay, a knight and bailiff, richly endowed the church. Its surface area was doubled with the construction of the choir, ambulatories and the north aisle, about 1466. The inauguration took place in 1470. In 1517, the Chapelle du Rosaire (Chapel of the Rosary) was added and the end of the choir. From the same period are the screen surrounding the choir and about fifteen stained glass windows.

In June 1944, American bombers, at the time of D-Day, caused serious damage to the spire, the west door and the choir. The organ was badly damaged, stained glass shattered, the roof holed and the clock damaged. Fortunately, in 1940 the old stained glass had been taken out and stored in the countryside.

The church interior is decorated with paintings from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. In the choir, in the middle of the magnificent reredos behind the high altar (1655), one can admire a very beautiful “Assumption of the Virgin”, the work of Jacques de la Haie, probably from Falaise, painted for Notre-Dame in 1658. This picture is listed by the Beaux-Arts (French National Arts School), and is certainly the outstanding work in the church.

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Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

More Information

www.ot-carentan.fr

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Meryl Brailsford (9 months ago)
Stunning stained glass, impressive building, worth a visit
Marc Worthley (3 years ago)
Open to the public. Interior very nostalgic. Seems to retain some atmosphere from the turn of the century.
DC Bogeyz (3 years ago)
Beautiful church, breathtaking details. Amazingbtime capsule!
Alan Pembshaw (4 years ago)
A beautiful parish church, topped by a high steeple, typical of many of the churches in Normandy. The highlights for me were the huge stained glass windows. Well worth the visit, quiet and not crowded.
Gaëtan Renard (4 years ago)
Cool
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