Pont-de-l’Arche Church

Pont-de-l'Arche, France

The church in Pont-de-l’Arche had been dedicated to St. Vigor, the bishop of Bayeux, since at least of the 11th century. The present church maintained his memory. Built in the 16th century, overlooking the walls of the city, the church dominates the rivers Eure and Seine. The church was restored from 1865 to 1895 by MMrs Simon, an architect in Rouen, and Lefort, an architect from the Historic monuments in Seine-Maritime. The gothic building may have inspired Eustache-Hyacinthe Langlois, a native of Pont-de-l’Arche, who started speaking of flamboyant Gothic style, referring the boldly-shaped sculptures at the windows which suggest flames. The buttresses between the windows are in fat the piers of the flying buttresses.

The building consists of only one nave with six bays bordered by two aisles. The uncompleted apse accounts for the small size of the choir. The elevation inside the church is built on two floors. Two rows of windows bring in plenty of light, which reveals quite plain stonework.

The stained-glass window is the most reputed in the church. It was made in 1605 by a glassworker from Rouen. The humblest people in the city put up money for it and it shows how important the towing of boats on the Seine was, (people had to tow them under an arch of the bridge). Thus, in the foreground, the window shows the “fort de Limaie”, which stood on the right bank of the Seine (where Igoville is now). In the middleground, there is the bridge which gave the city its name, and in the background, the first walls which were built around Pont-de-l’Arche.

The church shelters an organ built in 1608 by Jean Oury in Crépin Carlier’s workshop (he being an organ-builder in Rouen). The retables come from Notre-Dame de Bonport. The sculptures represent lions which probably refer to Richard the Lionheart, who founded the abbey in 1190.



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Founded: 16th century
Category: Religious sites in France


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Karine Demarest (9 months ago)
Very beautiful church in good condition
Michael Martens (15 months ago)
One could string his "pearls" of flamboyant style on a chain, e.g. Collégiale ND de Vernon, ND de Louviers (above the Eure), ND-des-arts de Pont-de-l'Arche, St Maclou de Rouen, ND de Caudebec-en-Caux, St Martin Harfleur. This church (Notre-Dame-des-Arts) is currently more closed than open, there are major building security measures. The west facade and the portal side as a filigree display side are particularly worth seeing and also have entertaining caricatures in the form of a sculpture. It is also worth taking a look at the architecturally medieval aspects of the town.
Emmanuel BLOC'H (16 months ago)
Magnificent stained glass windows to discover.
Louise James (2 years ago)
Beautiful gothic catholic church...
Denise Petitjean (2 years ago)
A little gospel during the mass, nothing like to revive the interest to go to the mass ...
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