Our Lady of the Fountain Church

La Brigue, France

Our Lady of the Fountain (Notre-Dame des Fontaines) is a Roman Catholic shrine located four kilometers (2.5 miles) from La Brigue, France, very close to the Italian border. The name derives from seven local springs that emerge from the rocks. It is one of the main tourist destinations in La Brigue, receiving up to 12,000 tourists per year.

The shrine is noted for a huge 15th-century fresco painting, depicting the cycle of Passion of Christ by Giovanni Canavesio. Some of the outstanding frescoes of the chapel have been reproduced in the Musée national des Monuments Français in Paris.

The church itself dates back to the 12th century, being enlarged in the 1490s. As is the case with other river sources in Liguria, this was a sacred site long before Christianity established itself in the region; Roman coins and other votive offerings have been found in the vicinity.



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D143, La Brigue, France
See all sites in La Brigue


Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Joel Villacampa (18 months ago)
Lieu très agréable, l'extérieur de la chapelle ne paye pas de mine, mais l'intérieur vaut le détour (se renseigner avant pour les visites).
jean-marc DUJARDIN (18 months ago)
Un joyau français! cette chapelle du 12ème siècle, d'un extérieur , somme toute, banal regorge pourtant de richesses exceptionnelles par ses fresques du 15ème siècle, dans un état remarquable, qui tapissent l'intérieur des murs et plafond. Les détails des scènes bibliques depuis la naissance de Jésus, jusqu'à sa résurrection sont de très grandes qualité. Un lieu de prières et de méditation au plein cœur de la montagne qui ne laisse pas indifférent!
Claudio Shiva Tabasso (2 years ago)
Una visita doverosa per chi ama l'arte antica. Un gioiello delle alpi, affreschi che ci portano in un mondo oramai lontano da noi e dai nostri modi di pensare, ma i cui valori hanno segnato le vite di milioni di persone. Vivissimi come fossero stati dipinti ieri! Giovanni Baleison e Giovanni Canavesio, sono i due artisti pittori che hanno decorato Notre Dame des fontaines. Praticamente contemporanei di Leonardo da Vinci, hanno illustrato quelle vicende e quegli incubi (vedi inferno e giudizio finale) che animavano nel bene e nel male le menti dei nostri antenati. Certamente la chiesetta è sorta prima del 1350, che è la più antica data in cui si ha notizia storica della stessa. Gli affreschi sono della seconda metà del '400, ma di sicuro in quel luogo vi era un antico culto delle acque, venerate dai liguri per millenni e forse dalla preistoria. Notre Dame des fontaines e la vicinissima Briga sono poco lontano dalla valle delle meraviglie, sede di incisioni rupestri famosissime e che risalgono all'età del bronzo.
Monique Könning (3 years ago)
Beautiful church. At the time we visited it, it was peaceful and quiet. Only 3 other visiters. The paintings are beautiful. I can imagine it's called the Sistine chapel of the Alpes. I think it's even worth a detour! Don't forget to visit the town of La Brigue as well. It's a really nice town with very good lunch options and a beautiful church.
FDA/ RS (4 years ago)
Pristine Church. ****
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