Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin of Guérande!!

And here on my update road map bringing back many memorable moments in our life’s travels. The beauty of reliving these trip is worth staying home. And home it is, thanks for reading me since 2010! Let me tell you a bit more on the wonderful Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin of Guérande!!

The wonderful fortified town of Guérande, in old Bretagne, now Loire-Atlantique dept 44 of the Pays de la Loire region.  The town and things to see has been written several times in my blog and it is worth visiting as a whole. However, I think will do justice to it by having a post just on the Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin , a wonderful place to visit while in town or nearby.  The Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin is located in the center of the medieval old city area surrounded by the castle ramparts.


A first building is located on the present site in the 6C, according to tradition, under the aegis of the King of Vannes, Waroc’h II. After the transfers of the relics of Saint-Aubin of Angers, a second larger building was built in the late 9C or 10C. The Norman incursions, with significant consequences in the region, gave the necessary the reconstruction of the Church and other buildings in late Romanesque style. This phase began after the middle of the 12C and ended with the construction of the main façade in the 13C. This is probably more of an extension with a construction of an enlarged nave, than a complete reconstruction of the Church. The 10C choir was probably preserved, at least in part. The north wall of the choir was probably rebuilt at the end of this construction cycle. Some of the visible elements from this period are the 8 columns with historiated capitals in the nave (7 of the Capitals are Romanesque 12C), the 8th was remade in the 19C following the collapse of the facade, as well as sculptures in replaced of the 13C in the current facade.  After the sack of  Guérande  by the troops of Louis de la Cerda in 1342 in the context of the War of the Succession of Brittany, the ruined Collegiate Church is rebuilt from 1380 in Gothic style with the south transept and the crypt in the 14C , the north transept is then resumed and the choir and bedside are rebuilt in the 15C. A new Gothic façade finishes the Church, the frame on the transepts are laid in 1541.


In the 16C  the laying of the stained glass windows of Saint-Aubin and Saint-Julien ,to the left and right of the Choir was done , then in the 17C , the laying of the great stained glass of the coronation of the Virgin, in the center of the bedside and finally, the furniture of the Church: stalls, altars, rood (removed in 1804, and put in the National Museum of the Middle Ages (Cluny in Paris),  and from its central gate is deposited in the Museum of the Porte Saint-Michel, and layout of the sacristy.


The Collegiate Church of Saint-Aubin has always been the second episcopal seat of the Diocese of Nantes. The interior surprises by the imposing grandeur of the uniqueness of its ship and the elevation of its transept. See the historiated marquees, the large canopy, the stained glass windows and the alternating game of columns. The Choir seems more elongated, higher and more enlightened than the nave, justifying the term architectural illusionist. The lower Chapel is home to the belying of Tristan de Carné and his wife, Jeanne de La Salle and a sarcophagus  of the Middle Ages. Its recently appointed forecourt offers the south side an original fountain in hollow rock and the north side in procession, behind Saint-Aubin, the characters of the life of the city. The building retains many characteristics of the Breton religious architecture of the late Middle Ages.


In 1789-1790, (French revolution) the Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin was dilapidated, the pipes of the organ are melted, the bells also. The Church will temporarily serve the worship of the Supreme Being. The Church was returned to Catholic worship in 1802.  By 1864 , the construction of the vaults in Tufa stone, above the heart and the transepts. The vaults of the nave and its collateral will be carried out between 1876 and 1885. In 1872, the construction of an arrow steeple  in neo-Gothic style at the top of the façade on the base of the Renaissance belfry.  On 28 November 1876, the clock tower on the façade collapsed in full mass and took with it a large part of the façade and the first crossing of the nave. The spire built 4 years ago was too heavy and the foundations of the building too old. The restoration of the Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin is completed in 1885, the façade is rebuilt by taking up the maximum of old blocks. The outer pulpit is of the 15C, an architectural rarity, although partially dismantled and done identical. In 1891, the laying of the relics of Saint Solomon III ,Duke of Brittany and founder of the Sacred College. Finally, in 1903 the construction of the central steeple, replacing a small bell tower in pepper-pots built in 1580.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The La Baule-Guerande tourist office on the Church:

The city of Guérande on the heritage and church:

There you go another jewel of my belle France of course. Where else we can keep so much treasury for the world to see even after devastating wars from 1789 onwards! France a movable feast! Come to see the Collegiate Church of Saint Aubin and enjoy the fortified town of Guérande!

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

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