Church of Notre Dame de la Couture ,Le Mans!

Here is a dandy in medieval nice Le Mans, we love it, the whole city of course. One of the nicest things to see here is the Church of Notre Dame de la Couture. I like to update this older post with text and links for you and me. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Hi there you all, thanks for reading my blog since Nov 2010! I come back to you on another that can be call off the beaten path sites in my belle France. The town is world famous but most folks come here for the car races and on sights go to the Cathedral, however, there is a lot more in Le Mans.  I like to tell you a bit on the Church of Notre Dame de la Couture. It is of course, in Le Mans, dept 72 of the Sarthe in the Pays de la Loire region.


The Church of Notre Dame de la Couture is the former abbey of the Abbey of Saint-Pierre de la Couture. And therefore, now name Notre Dame de la Couture Church.  It is located in the city center/downtown at about 500 meters from the train station. The Church has a large western massif framed by two very different towers. The other buildings of the old abbey are juxtaposed with the Church, on its southern flank and are occupied today by the prefecture (dept reg govt) of the Sarthe. This major monument of the city of Le Mans, comes mainly from the 12C; In the same way as St. Julien Cathedral (see my post). The two buildings have many similarities starting with their imposing mass. The seam has a common architecture with the Cathedral of Angers(see my post), despite the fact that the Le Mans’ Church is not built in limestone. Their plans were roughly the same while their time of construction was very close, even simultaneous.


A bit of history I like

It is restored and rebuilt around the year 1000. The Church was then renamed Saint-Pierre de la Couture by a monk in the abbey while he left another Abbot  to take part in his previous duties. Remnants of the old version of the Church are still visible above the south cloister, 18 meters high.  In 1180, the Great fire of Le Mans ravaged everything. The Church Notre Dame de la Couture  was severely affected. It was rebuilt in the 12C. The nave is 42 meters long and was done with 3 bays on a square plane. This plan was taken from the Cathedral of Angers. The Dominicans vaults are longer than average with 16 meters long, reaching more than 22 meters under dome. Some columns exceed 5 meters in thickness while the outer walls must also be thickened. Rare thing, the central nave is illuminated by geminate windows surmounted by an oculus. The two towers of the western part date from the 13C, while the porch is open between the latter two. In 1533, the Lord John II of the Escotais offered a richly sculpted altarpiece to the Chapel of the baptismal font.


The Concordat of 1801 (accord between the Church and the State ) authorized the reopening of the churches. Notre Dame de la Couture Church was the first parish in Le Mans to do so. Now known as Notre-Dame de la Couture, her priest, Pierre-René Huard, returned to his ministry after ten years of exile and devoted himself to the difficult task of reconstructing and restoring the church that had suffered during these years of abandonment and neglect. Father Joseph de Lisle, who had been exiled with Huard, settled from that time to Notre-Dame de la Couture Church as a priest-in-residence.

Some interior description of the Church of Notre Dame de la Couture :

The gothic nave of three bays took the place of an ancient Romanesque nave of seven bays. There is a walkway  of the braces towards the nave. The choir, the high parts are gothic; The ambulatory kept its Romanesque vault: ridges on doubles. There were originally five radiant apsidioles. There is only one Romanesque apsidiole in the southeast remaining. It has some surviving Romanesque arches. The vast Crypt with three aisles vaulted with ridges. The pillars are often made of monolithic marble columns, probably used. One can see a stained glass window dedicated to the Virgin dating from the 19C, and which is one of the first windows designed in medieval fashion, called archaeological window. Nice!




Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The official parish of Notre Dame de la Couture

The Le Mans tourist office on the church

The Sarthe dept 72 tourist office on the ND de la Couture Church

There you go folks, another dandy in superbe Le Mans and of course plenty to see there but this one is one on my book of must sees while in town. Enjoy the Church of Notre Dame de la Couture!

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

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: