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Religious heritage

 

There was a very important religious activity in Châteaudun before the French Revolution. There were seven parishes in town and about twenty churches and chapels including an abbey church, a "holy chapel" and a Templar chapel. In spite of the disapearance of some religious buildings several beautiful churches and chapels are still visible today.

 

The former abbey church of La Madeleine

The foundation of the abbey of La Madeleine dates back from the 12th century with the settlement of regular canons of Saint Augustine. The church was then totally rebuilt during the 12th century to match its new status as an abbey church, this is the large Romanesque building that can be seen today. The choir was rebuilt in the early 16th century following the collapse of the choir and the great ambulatory that no longer exists, the church was then about 80 meters long against only 55 meters today.

The main facade to the north was ornated with 13 or 14 tall statues that were destroyed during the French Revolution. The setting of new stain-glass windows at the end of the 19th century allowed to discover the very beautiful southern gate which had been dissimulated for a long time behind the town walls from the end of the 13th century and which. Unlike the northern facade, it has kept its beautiful sculptures from the 12th century.

The archaeological remains from previous churches were uncovered under the actual choir, the apse from a Carolingian church from the very end of the 9th century or the 10th century which was one of the first apses with an ambulatory. Lower parts of walls of a small chapel still show traces of polychromatic paintings which were added either at the end of the 11th century or in the early 12th century.

The building was restored after World War II. The church was totally devastated on the 15th of June 1940 when the neighbourhood burnt during a whole night following a German bombing raid. The bare aspect of the church since this restoration highlights the majesty of the place.

To the left of the church can be seen the former buildings of the abbey, rebuilt during the 18th century in the classical style.

Open from the 1st of April to the 1st of November from 8:00 to 20:30 and from the 2nd of November from the 31st of March from 8:00 to 19:30

 

Saint-Valérien church

This beautiful Romanesque church from the 12th and 13th centuries is easily remarkable thanks to its majestuous fifty-metre high steeple surmounted by a great stony arrow.

A beautiful heavily ornementated Romanesque gate from the 13th century allows to enter into the church. The vaults of the nave are supported by columns with grotesque figures and the southern aisle opens to a very decorated lateral chapel from the 16th century. The choir is illuminated by beautiful stained glass windows from the Renaissance.

Open everyday from 9:00 to 19:00

 

 

Saint-Jean de la Chaîne church

Orignally an old Roman church which was made considerably larger during the 12th century. The building was then modified a lot. During the 15th century the walls were rebuilt taller and Gothic windows were added. At the beginning of the 16th century 2 new gothic gates were added as well as a new stony arrow-shapeds steeple.

A huge restoration undertaken from 2007 to 2009 allowed to reopen the large ogival window of the western facade and to make the vaults visible again as they had been dissimulated behind plaster bricks since the 19th century.

A great late Gothic gate built at the beginning of the 16th century previously served as an access to the old graveyard that surrounded the church.

Open everyday from 9:00 to 18:00 (or until dusk in winter)

 

The remains of Champdé chapel

From this 16th century chapel dedicated to the Holy Virgin, only the western facade is still standing.

Fallen into disuse in 1791, the chapel was then turned into a hay barn for the garrison. The building was set ablade by thunder in 1878 and totally devastated. The chapel was protected in 1879 but only the western facade and its small steeple were restored in 1887. Since then this facade stands as a monumental gate for the Champdé cemetery.

The great late Flamboyant gate, at the centre of the heavily decorated facade, is made of a big arch and two twin doors framed by flowered butresses. The harmony of the proportions, the quality of the work and the refinement of the décor make it an interesting historical monument

The remains are accessible from the Champdé cemetery


The remains of Saint-Lubin church

It is the oldest church visible in the upper town. Archaeological excavations in the early 1980's allowed to uncover human traces from the Celtic, Gallo-Roman and even the Neolithic periods.

This small church was modified many times in the course of History. Some walls dates back from the 9th century, the apse is from the 11th or 12th century and the western part of the nave was extended during the 15th and 16th centuries, which explains the Gothic gate. The church was sold during the French Revolution and then dismantled

Only visible from the outside

 

The Templar chapel of la Boissière

This chapel was built along the river Loir by the Templars around the end of the 12th century when the commandry of La Boissière was founded. When the Templar order disappeared the comandry, like any othe Templar possession, fell into the hands of the Hospitallers in 1312.

The interior of the chapel was totally remade in the 19th century to house a printing works. But it kept its original exterior apperance with its ogival and semi-circular windows

Only visible from the outside

 


Downloadable documents (also available in the town churches)

       

   

 



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