Saint Lô: Church Notre Dame!

And while having a stop at Saint Lô (see previous post) , we had time to indulge in some sights as was near where we had our lunch lol! We had the ramparts and then this Church of Notre Dame right in front! Therefore, here is my take on Saint Lô ‘s Church of Notre Dame.

The Notre-Dame Church is in the Gothic-style erected over four centuries from the end of the 13C and strongly marked by the Battle of Normandy (WWII). As such, it is a “memorial” of the destruction of WWII. The parish church and former collegiate Church of Notre-Dame built from the 13C to the 20C is rightly considered the symbol of the city. This church dedicated to Notre Dame originates from the parish of the castle of Saint-Lô on Mont Briovère: the parish of “l’Enclos” whose patron was the lord of the castle, namely the bishop of Coutances.

Saint Lô

Saint Lô

The nave of five bar long spans dates from the first third of the 14C as well as its immediate side aisles; the foliage baskets on the capitals are very characteristic of the period. The north tower also dates from the 14C and the south tower dates from 1464, according to an inscription. There is no transept and the choir has four bays; the sanctuary is closed with six columns. The church has old stained glass windows, deposited safely during the bombing period, which date from the 15C including the royal stained glass which according to tradition would have been offered by Louis XI around 1470. It presents the Coronation of the Virgin and the story of Saint Crépin and Saint Crépinien. The south tower, square at the base, becomes octagonal. The two towers were completed with arrows in the 17C and gave the church a false appearance of a cathedral which was the pride of the Locals. Described and sketched by Victor Hugo, it was used more to harangue the crowds than to deliver the religious sermon. It consists of a vase with five flamboyant decoration panels surmounted by an arrow with brackets of fern leaves.

Saint Lô

Saint Lô

The Notre Dame Church did not undergo any major degradation before 1944. On July 18, after the fierce battles of the Liberation, the church was nearly 50% destroyed: nave uncovered with its cover and its vaults, facade collapsed as a result the bombardment of the North Tower by nazi artillery. Only the South tower without its spire, the choir and the aisles remained standing almost intact. The restoration of the church from 1944 to 1974 was long and difficult due to a change in the restoration bias during the construction. The restored church received its new dedication on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Liberation The statue of Notre Dame du Pilier , in a thousand pieces during the disaster, was saved and placed at the bottom of the sanctuary. The Notre-Dame Church therefore became the memorial to the destruction of the city of Saint-Lô.   The choir organ was acquired by the parish in 1960. After a first lifting carried out in 1999 it was restored and inaugurated in 2007. The great neoclassical organ of Notre-Dame was built in 1968.

Saint Lô

Saint Lô

The tourist office of Saint Lô on the Church Notre Dame

The city of Saint Lô and its heritage sites: City of Saint Lô on its heritage sites

It is an impressive church considering it was almost all destroyed in WWII and then rebuilt with care. Indeed a symbol of a city that is very much on most WWII movies done by Hollywood and beyond, Saint Lô you know the name? And do stop by the Church of Notre Dame. Hope you enjoy it

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

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