Archive for February 1st, 2019

February 1, 2019

Church of Ste. Croix, Nantes!

So winding down my latest stop in one of my favorite cities of my belle France,out in the west is Nantes. And this wonderful place has history and architecture while remaining off the beaten path even with relation to a Jules Verne. Of course, still in the Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of the Pays de la Loire region.

I like to tell you a bit more about the Church of Sainte Croix.

The Church of Ste. Croix of Nantes built in the 17C in the classical style and then modified in the 19C. The Church is located in the district of Bouffay, of which it is the parish Church since 1138.  The south side of the Church is along the Holy Cross passage. The parish register, on the date of February 8, 1828, bears the transcript of Jules Verne’s birth and baptism certificate.


A bit of history I like

The origin of the building is uncertain, but as early as the 11C the Benedictines of Marmoutier (city of Tours) had a priory whose Chapel Saint-Martin was located at the present site of the Church’s choir. At the time Chapel was used for the Château du Bouffay which was adjoined it.  The actual construction of the present Church begins in the 17C. From 1669 to 1685, the nave is built in the flamboyant ogival style. The bedside was then made up of three altars leaning against a flat wall. The façade, overlooking Place Sainte-Croix, is adorned in the purest classical style, with columns and ancient pediments. During the reign of terror in the French revolution, the Church was used as a prison. In 1839, the Choir was carried out in the flamboyant style, like the nave.


In 1860, the façade of a campanile and the old belfry of the city is surmounted. The belfry initially covered the  tower of Bouffay, in a polygonal form, built in 1664 and destroyed in 1848, located at the intersection of the rue de Bouffay and rue de Belle-Image, itself the only vestige of the ancient castle of Bouffay.  Henceforth, the ensemble consists of the clock of the old belfry topped by a lantern that houses the bell, called La Bouffay done in 1663 and weighing 8 096 Kg. The lantern is decorated with an allegorical round of angels ringing the trumpet.

The altar of the right nave is the only surviving altar of the 17C. The Louis XV-style pulpit is made of solid mahogany and a wrought iron ramp. The stalls date back to the 18C. The master altar, in white marble and gilded wood, was consecrated in 1844. The Sainte-Table, in white marble, is dated 1903.


The original organ, dated 1853, was restored and modified several times since, the last intervention dating from 1979.  The windows of the Choir were destroyed during the bombardment of  WWII, and remade in 1947. There is anice stained window of the Tribune, dated 1872, which represents the triumph of the Cross.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and more info on the Church of Ste Croix are

City of Nantes on the Church of Sainte Croix in French

Tourist office of Nantes on the passage Sainte Croix in English

Tourist office of Greater Nantes on the belltower in French

Official Catholic site on the Church of Sainte Croix in French

And there you have another jewel in my belle France; as said France is wholly a movable feast! And the Sainte Croix Church in Nantes is one small contribution to it. Enjoy it!

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


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