Notre Dame Church of Clisson!

And here is another dandy monument in wine country of the Loire valley. This town we visited a lot of course and get some our wines from there but on this post I like to tell you about a nice Notre Dame Church of Clisson! This is a glorious update of older post which has been a godsend for me to relieve these wonderful travel experiences and thank you again for coming along the ride with me.

So here I am in these lands of the Loire yes, a lot more than castles! Well for me its the wines as my house wines are purchase there. The town of Clisson is rich in history and architecture combine with excellent price/quality ratio of my belle France makes for a nice visit from me or you anytime. I like to tell you a bit on one thing to see in this would say off the beaten path town of my belle France. The Notre Dame Church of Clisson, that is. Ah yes, where is Clisson? well is in dept Loire-Atlantique no 44 in the region of Pays de la Loire (old brittany!), just south from me.

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The Notre Dame Church was originally founded by Constable of France Olivier V de Clisson around the 14-15C. In his will, Olivier ordained to the Church in 1406, a college of secular canons, composed of a dean, six canons, and six semis-prepends, six singers and four altar children. For this foundation he gave all the land of the castelany of Monfaucon. He also founded the convent of the Cordeliers by a codicil dated in 1406. The magnificent tomb of Olivier V of Clisson and his second wife Marguerite de Rohan, mutilated in the French revolution, is now in the Chapel of Sainte-Marguerite, in the southern transept of the Basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Roncier located between in  the Rue Olivier de Clisson and the Place Alain de Rohan at Josselin (Morbihan 56).

The Notre Dame Church  underwent some modifications during the following centuries  such as the addition of the Chapel of Saint Anne to the nave in the 17C. Burned and ransacked during the wars of the Vendée, the Church was restored under the Empire, early 19C. This new shrine, in Neo-Classical-Romanesque style, is strongly inspired by the older Church of St. John and St. Paul of Rome.

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The Notre Dame Church has a tripartite, low and chunky façade, typical of the Roman churches.  Supported by columns, the tympanum of the main gate presents the effigy of Notre Dame and the lateral tympanums  of St Joachim and Ste Anne. Outside, the bell tower and the bedside of the Church are characteristic of the Italian churches.

Inside ,the fresco of the Choir, like that of the baptismal font, is the work of Georges Lusseau, a local painter. The fresco that decorates the stone-vaulted Choir represents the Assumption of the Virgin. The characters are very stylized, lanky in homage to the Italian artists of the Renaissance. The composition is very symmetrical. A modern statue of the Virgin, carved in Oak, was erected after WWII, in recognition of the protection afforded to the city.

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Built on the site of the Collegial of the Lords of Clisson, it was once the Church of the fortified closed city, then burned and ransacked during the wars of Vendée (against French revolution). A commemorative plaque of persecution under the French revolution was affixed in 1961 on the wall to the right of the Choir, in honor of the eight priests of Clisson, killed in the reign of terror. This martyrology also honors the 107 victims from Clisson, killed in hatred of the faith in 1793 and 1794. The Notre Dame Church was rebuilt in 1887-88 with again, Italy is in the spotlight, with its remarkable Tuscan-style campanile and its body inspired by a basilica of Rome; Romanesque neo-classical style, it offers a superb view of the valley. The organ was done in 1903 and renovated in 1986.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are:

The Nantes vineyards webpage on Clisson’s heritage: https://www.visitnantesvineyard.com/the-destination/the-unmissable/the-amazing-clisson/

The City of Clisson on the church : http://www.mairie-clisson.fr/ville-de-clisson/presentation/2-eglise-notre-dame/

The Martyrology of Clisson on the historical Vendée and Chouans webpage: http://www.vendeensetchouans.com/archives/2010/11/26/19736832.html

The Clisson historical and heritage association on the church: https://www.clissonhistoireetpatrimoine.fr/eglise-notre-dame/

There you go folks, now you know where to come to see beautiful architecture and history and enjoy some good wines of the Loire. The typical region Nantaise, fame for its wines and the beauty of the Notre Dame Church of Clisson!

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

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