Church Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre in Navarrenx!!

And continuing my rounds of updates on older posts on the deep France which brings many memorable moments of family travel, let me stop in an unique off the beaten path town of Navarrenx and show you a bit of the Church Saint Germain d’Auxerre! This is my deep France , and we love it. Hoping you do too!

The territory in expansion is not really big but the treasures in it are huge. And coming back to the deep south I came upon the nice historical Church of Saint Germain d’Auxerre in the lovely town of Navarrenx.  The Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre Church is located in Navarrenx, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques dépt 64 of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region.  It is a fairly old Church whose origins date back to 1551, under the reign of Henry II of Albret. Its steeple, as can be seen at present, dates from 1731. This gothic style Church, relatively rare in this part of France, measures 41 meters in length for 21 meters wide.  Following the arrival of king Louis XIII, wishing the final end of the war of religion, in Naverrenx in 1620, the Catholic cult was indeed restored. The patron of the Church is Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre, whose painting adorns the back of the Church. The Saint feast is on July 31st. The organ was built around 1850, but it is not signed so builder not known for sure.


This was the so-called Edict of the Union of Béarn. At Naverrenx, in favor of the entire integration of the kingdom, the king attended the solemn Sunday Mass at the Saint-Germain-d’Auxerre Church the following day. Two days later, the edict was finally approved by the Royal Council. Above the gate is a laurel wreath with the shield of France, completed according to the visit of Louis XIII. On the other hand, the current common coat of arms is characterized as a bluish golden Fleur de Lys replacing the old coat of arms.


The main portal of the Church Saint Germain d’Auxerre is distinguished from four large-scale paintings, including those granted by Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie de Montijo. Indeed, after treating Eugènie, future Empress, Doctor Jean-Baptiste-Prosper Darralde became a resident of Navarrenx, then Mayor of this town between November 1841 and December 1845, finally was appointed ordinary doctors of their Imperial Majesties, towards 1857. Hence, during the visit of the Imperial couple to Navarrenx in 1859, Napoleon III thanked him because of numerous treatments, notably those of the Empress, by granting the Church four paintings. The gifts of the Emperor and the Empress were successively arrived while they were copies of the masterpieces.  With their biblical subjects, these great paintings at the door invite the Pilgrims of St. James, during the the re start of their journey, to keep their spiritual prayer on the way. These paintings are:

Nativity of the Virgin MarySaint Germain, Patron of the Church and parish; Piéta of Adele de Kercado, this Piéta is accordingly exactly attributed to Mademoiselle de Kercado, who made numerous copies of masterpieces at that time; And this is a reproduction of the piece by Lodovico Carracci. The Ascension of Jesus, unlike the other three paintings, this work is nothing but an original by François Dubois, already completed in 1848, and which arrived at the Church later, in 1859. This is a work of the Ascension of Christ.




Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The city of Navarrenx on history/heritage

The Béarn Gaves tourist board on Navarrenx in English:

The Béarn Gaves tourist board on the route to St James at Navarrenx

This the real old France we came to know in books and old films, lovely pure and simple with lots of architecture, history and more; the food of course is delicious and so are the wines of the Béarn! Enjoy Navarrenx and the Church Saint Germain d’Auxerre as I do!

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

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