Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, Rennes!

So let’s stay in wonderful Rennes shall we! This is a city that has lots to offer and still remains on the off the beaten path of foreign visitors here. It should be seen more. I like to bring out some of the monuments that struck me while visiting this city and walking its streets.

A pity on the Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle ( Our Lady of Good News Basilica) there is little information on the tourist office while I have plenty in my history books on Brittany. Something to make you find out about, hope you do and enjoy it.

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The Church of Saint-Aubin later Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, is located in the city center of Rennes, Ille et Vilaine dept 35 in Brittany, on place Sainte-Anne. The current, unfinished building replaces an ancient homonymous church located in the same square. Its north and east facades are bordered by the Contour Saint-Aubin. The Rue de Saint-Malo separates the Church from the convent of the Jacobins. It was erected in Basilica minor on August 6, 1916.

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A bit of history I like

The old Church Saint Aubin, demolished in 1904, was located in the north of the city, outside the ramparts of Rennes and occupied the western part of the present place Saint-Anne. Attested in the 12C, it is mostly from the 17-18C, and it had hosted from the 19C, the cult of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle, primitively located in the convent of the Jacobins. Guy XII de Laval continued the work begun by Jean IV of Brittany for the construction of Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle de Rennes, founded in the aftermath of the Battle of Auray.

The tradition reports that the Duke of Brittany Jean IV attributed the victory of the Montfort’s (his) to the Blois’s, during the war of the Duchy’s succession, during the Battle of Auray, to the intercession of the Virgin Mary. In 1368 he founded the Dominican convent of Rennes, which quickly became the name of the convent of good-news (bonne nouvelle), a painting on wood of the Virgin and the Child becoming during the 15C the object of the veneration of the faithful. Still, the votive work was melted during the French revolution and replaced after a cholera epidemic in 1849 by a new ex-voto dating from 1861. During the Prussian invasion of 1871, Mgr. Brossay-Saint-Marc decided to offer a candle to Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle every 8 September, if the city was spared. This tradition was perpetuated and the Church of St. Aubin was erected in Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle on August 6, 1916.

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The Church of Saint-Aubin was built from 1884 to 1904, the manifesto of the Gothic style triumphant in the Breton capital. In the absence of the main façade, the creation of the Rue de Bonne-Nouvelle magnified the entrance to the right transept, in the axis of rue Saint-Melaine and the former Benedictine Abbey.  St. Aubin’s Church being the parish where Blessed Marcel Callo was born and the church where he was baptized, a permanent place in his memory was installed following his beatification on 4 October 1987, by Pope John Paul II. There is a statue to remember this occasion.

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A bit on the construction style I like

The Basilica, although unfinished, presents itself as a Latin cross with ample chorus. The nave, of three bays, is accosted by collateral that promotes easy circulation during the liturgy. It leads to a largely overflowing transept, each arm having two spans. The chorus, extending the distribution to three vessels of the nave, ends with a pentagonal apse. Its side aisles act as an ambulatory, allowing to bypass the liturgical choir and to access the bedside, place of devotion to Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Nouvelle. The sacristy and Catechism room are in the extension of the transepts along the first two spans. The elevation has two floors with large arcades and high windows; made in the Gothic style of the 13C. The rosettes of the transepts are the direct transposition of the rose of the west facade of Chartres, and the high windows with four lancets derive from those of Amiens. The stained glass of the Basilica is its major ornamental element. Most of the stained glass, declining floral motifs,  are also featured in medallions of the scenes of Brittany’s history in connection with the Duchess Anne (Anne de Bretagne).

 

As said not much online on it but these will give some idea

Catholic Mass info on Bonne Nouvelle in French

Breton heritage site on Bonne Nouvelle in French

Hope you enjoy and do stop by it is a nice Basilica indeed and something different to see in wonderful Rennes!

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

 

2 Comments to “Basilica minor Notre Dame de Bonne Nouvelle, Rennes!”

  1. Another very fine church. Thanks!

    Like

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