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A wonderful religious heritage

 

From when it was Christianized until the Revolution, Châteaudun has seen a great deal of religious activity. Seven parishes, three priories, various chapels, an abbey and a collegiate church cover the city. Despite the disappearance of a good number of these, some still continue to exist.


The Madeleine abbey church

Within the old city walls, it has followed their curves since the 13th century.
The initial foundation of the Madeleine abbey probably dates back to the end of the 11th century. At the beginning of the 12th century, regular canons from the order of Saint-Augustin were established in the new abbey. The church was to be rebuilt, then enlarged and consolidated in the 13th and 14th centuries.
In the 16th century, following the collapse of part of the chancel and ambulatory on the bases of a Romanesque structure, it was roofed with a beautiful wooden framework. The nave was to be shortened by some thirty metres. At the beginning, it was 84 metres long. Today's chancel dates from the same time.

Its main wall (north) pierced by three Roman gates was decorated with 13 sculptures (damaged during the Revolution). The fitting of stained glass windows in the 19th century led to the rediscovery of the very beautiful southern gate, so long walled up alongside its arches decorated with Roman sculptures.
Under the existing chancel, the remains of an older building have been revealed: chancel in a semi-circular apse with polychromic paintings. Restored after bombing in 1940, the abbey's buildings today house a training centre for nursing skills, and several administrative services.

Open from to 1/04 to 1/11 from 8 am to 8:30 pm and from 2/11 to 31/03 to 7:30 pm

 

Church of Saint-Valérien

This is easily recognized by its stone spire, the ridges of which are decorated with curly rosettes. At the heart of the Saint-Valérien district, former suburb of the city, it was built at the end of the 12th, beginning of the 13th centuries.

The south gate is remarkable for its semi-circular arches sculpted with geometrical patterns matching with the trefoil opening. The vaulting of the nave drops onto engaged columns decorated with grotesque carvings. From the Renaissance period, three windows are to be seen in the chancel.
Spared by the fire of 1723 and the Revolution, it provides a range of elements representative 
of artistic and architectural styles.

Open every day from to 9 am to 7 pm

 

Church of Saint-Jean de la Chaîne

Romanesque in structure (base of the walls, the rear section made up of a semi-circular chevet and two absidioles), the walls were raised as of the 15th century (Gothic arches and windows). The steeple dates from the 16th century and was topped by a spire razed during the Revolution. The church is fronted by a beautiful gate, standing alone, which used to open onto a graveyard established at the foot of the building. It dates from the 16th century and has two openings in the form of surbased arches decorated with beading, pinnacles, curly rosettes, late Gothic carvings.

 

Remains of the chapels of Champdé

Of this 16th century Our Lady chapel (Notre-Dame), all that remains is the west wall which takes the place of gateway from the graveyard.

Deconsecrated in 1791 and transferred first to the city then to the State, it was converted into a fodder store. The latter was burned down after being struck by lightning and was left with only the existing wall and a few buttresses. Flamboyant Gothic in style, the harmony of its proportions, quality of the work and refinement of its decors make these remains a historical monument in its own right


Chapel of the Boissière: former Templar church

Founded in the 12th century, it was erected close to the Loir and gives the appearance of a Gothic structure. Its strategic location explains why the Templars established themselves here.
Despite interior conversions for industrial use, externally it retains original features such as gemeled window openings in the form of a semi-circular arch above the western gable.



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