Saint-François d’Assisi of Le Havre!

One of the highlights of my travels by car in my belle France is that I can go to these places far away and off the beaten path to enjoy them. Le Havre was beaten badly in WWII and has come back reborn, it is worth the detour for its marvels and the port area is tops so does the neighborhood of Saint François where I like to tell you a bit more on the Church of Saint François de Paul now call Saint François d’Assisi. Enjoy the ride.

The Saint-François de Paul Church (known as Saint Francis of Assisi) is one of the oldest buildings in city center/ downtown Le Havre and one of the only survivors. It is located in the district of Saint-François, which was rebuilt in a regionalist style, which contrasts with the other quarters rebuilt  by Auguste Perret. It is a 17C Church  of rather Renaissance style.

A bit of history I like

Before the construction of the current Church, there would have been a Chapel in the Barres district (name of the district at the time), in 1524. King François I wanted to build a Church in this district dedicated to Saint Francis de Paul, a saint whom the King preferred at the time.

The construction of the Church begins in 1542, and in 1638, the Church was consecrated, although the Church was not finished. In 1687, the choir was built. The Church was originally referred to as Saint Francis of Paul, but it was replaced by Saint Francis of Assisi. In fact, this is due to the arrival of the Capuchin in 1590, who settled in the neighbourhood. Today, the Church is known as the Church of St. Francis of Assisi.

le havre

In 1793, the church was is in poor condition due to the French revolution, it had a  degraded roofing and broken stained glass. In 1802, the church was restored and rehabilitated the roof and restoration of the stained glass windows. In 1806, the roofs of the chapels were replaced by a single roof by aisle. After WWII, the church was restored and the sacristy rebuilt: In September 1954, the vaults damaged by the bombardments were completely redone. In 1955 and 1956, the porch and its bell tower are dismantled and restored with the facade refitted in place 1956. Then, all the chapels were rebuilt and, in 1961, new stained glass windows were laid.

A bit on the construction

The Church has a façade surmounted by a modest steeple. The walls of the church are supported by buttresses. The roof of the church forms a transept just behind the steeple; This transept was surmounted by two pinnacles dismantled after the restoration works of the 20C. The walls are pierced with large glass windows. At the back, the chorus is visible outside because its dimensions are less important than those of the nave; The bedside of the church is in the form of a hemicycle and is pierced by two glass windows. The church has only one façade which is in fact a porch of three bays and three entrance doors . The classic porch shows a slight influence of the Ogival style (Gothic). The porch is topped by a Renaissance-style steeple that takes on a Greco-Roman style.

le havre

The Interior of the church consists of a nave in three ships flanked by chapels, which extends into a chorus. The classical style is predominant, although the vaults of the aisles are of medieval styles. The main nave is covered by a plaster cradle that rests on pillars in the form of Doric columns. As for the aisles, they are arched on crossed warheads. The nave consists of four bays, plus another between nave and chorus. The Renaissance-style choir is of a more modest size. The high altar is a recent altar of neo-classical wood type. The choir has stalls and a small organ. At the bottom, in the apse, the altar with the tabernacle is surmounted by a Calvary. On the wall behind the altar there is a tapestry from the Royal Manufactory of Aubusson, offered in 1924 to the Church; Above, you can see a fresco depicting the coronation of the Virgin Mary.

le havre

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

Religious Mass at St François

Unesco on the neighborhood of St Francois

Official Le Havre tourist office on heritage

Normandy Tourist office on Le Havre

City of Le Havre on St Francis

There you go another off the beaten path beauty of my belle France. Worth a detour to a city , Le Havre , that deserves more after WWII. Enjoy the tour.

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

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: