Church of Saint Vincent of Paul, Blois!

Moving right along in wonderful Blois. Not to repeat the previous introduction, you know what I mean! To move out into the deep France and the wonderful valley of the kings or present Centre-Val de Loire region is to submerge in pure beauty. And again, a lot more than castles.

This is the case of the town of Blois, one of my favorites in the region, and lovely always. I like to tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint Vincent of Paul in Blois.

Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Church in Blois, department of Loir-et-Cher no 41,in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. The former St. Louis Chapel of the Jesuit College of Blois, it was built in the 17C but only became a parish church in the 19C, under the name Saint-Vincent-de-Paul.

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A bit of history I like

In 1581, King Henry III ordered the construction of a Chapel for the college which he had just decided to establish in Blois. In 1622, the Jesuits took the direction of the establishment, at the request of the city’s notables. So it was finally in 1634 that the construction of a Chapel began. In 1660, Gaston d’Orléans, exiled in Blois, decided to finance the construction of the Church, making it possible to speed up the project. The Church of St. Vincent de Paul is in fact the former Chapel of St. Louis of the Royal College of the city that Louis XIII gave to the Jesuits in 1622 and that these made restore and decorate thanks to the largesse of Gaston d’Orléans (brother of the King), then of Anne-Marie of Montpensier (The Great Mademoiselle), his daughter. From 1670, the Chapel was transformed into a monument to the glory of the prince and his family. Finally, the Church is completed in 1678 thanks to the donations of Gaston d’Orléans.

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In 1773, the Jesuits were expelled from France and thus lost the direction of the Royal College and its Chapel. During the French revolution, the establishment was abandoned and its Chapel was transformed into a temple of liberty. In 1793, the department’s executive Board ordered the destruction of all the marks which recalled the former regime. The building then served as a local for the raising of the contingent of volunteers for the army during the reign of terror. Transformed into a forage store shortly thereafter, the chapel became a place of worship again in 1826, when it was established as the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Church, before being renamed Notre-Dame Church of the Immaculate Conception in 1856 with the new restoration of the Church ending in 1873, and the change back to Saint Vincent de Paul Church.

The Church is constructed with a northern orientation as the Jesuit tradition wants it. Reflects the architectural principles enacted by the Council of Trent and the Catholic Counter-Reformation in the 17C. The Church is characteristic of the French religious art of the first half of the 17C as well.The latter comprises a nave of three bays comprising each of the chapels as well as a single-span choir completed by a five-pans apse. The three-level facade underlined by a very salient enlayerment is punctuated by powerful pilasters with overlapping order. The two upper levels are accosted by large fins and vases on the first floor, from pyramids to the second. A large triangular pediment crowning the center span completes the composition. The large, full-hanging windows of the chapels and that of the nave above the table reinforce the magnitude and simplicity of the interior elevation. In 1634, to establish an arch of stone warheads without dome or dome on the crusader. The monument that sheltered the heart of Gaston d’Orléans has two figures in half relief framing a high pedestal bearing a statue in round-hump. The Church enjoys a rich interior decor: statues, paintings, altarpieces, sculptures.

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On the left is the altarpiece originally, there was, in its center, a painted canvas. It was replaced by an apparition of the Virgin after the French revolution. On the left is the mausoleum of Gaston d’Orléans; On the right, the monument of Mademoiselle de Montpensier.

Blois

Under the monarchies, the Chapel had beautiful stained glass windows. During the fighting of WWII, they were blown away by the explosions of the bombs dropped nearby. Only the stained glass of the vow of Louis XIII remains and the perimeter of the stained glass of the Saint-Joseph Chapel. It is called the vow of Louis XIII, the consecration of France to the Virgin Mary by King Louis XIII on February 10, 1638. All the other stained glass windows are contemporary.

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Not surprisingly been a more Royal pantheon visited even today by French nobility, there is not much written on the Church; but it has a spot in the tourist office  of the Blois region as such: Tourist office of Blois on the Church St Vincent of Paul

Hope you enjoy the tour, and do visit once in Blois, like I said so much to see and always a lot more than castles… not that they are shabby especially the one in Blois!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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