Church Notre-Dame de l’Assomption of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré!

Let me take you to an island off continental France in the Atlantic ocean, Another wonderful spot in my belle France, Let me update this older post on the Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption in Sainte Marie de Ré  for a change of scenery. Here the sea its at its best and you are in an island! My wandering road warrior trips took me to this church and is worth the detour. Therefore, let me tell you about one of its beacons, the off the beaten path Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption in the town of Sainte-Marie-d-Ré, the main one on the island. First a bit on the town and then the Church ok

Sainte-Marie-de-Ré is located on the Ïle de Ré (island), in the Charente-Maritime dépt 17 of the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. The coast is lined with beaches and small cliffs , where the remains of many fish locks are discovered at low tide. The presence of many blockhouses of the Atlantic Wall on the coast reminds us of the dark hours that the town experienced during WWII. On December 27, 1888, Sainte-Marie took the name Sainte-Marie-de-Ré.

The parish of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré, quoted as early as the 12C, is known as probably the oldest of the island. The present Church Notre-Dame de l’Assomption was inaugurated in 1864. With its simply bleached interior walls and its apparent framing, it shows the sobriety of a barn; But, by its imposing proportions, its large nave with three ships, the refined decor of its choir and its beautiful brightness, it is nonetheless majestic. Besides, some visitors, from the first glance, find it as a cathedral appearance! Its steeple, dating from the 15C, once painted in black, served as a bitter. The platform of this steeple is equipped with a parapet on crows forming machicolations that have been blocked during restorations and even partly reconstruction in the 19C in the Church Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption ,there are ex-votos in the form of beautiful models of boats that are exposed.



In 1467, the Church was fortified and surrounded by a ditch. Undoubtedly the ambient insecurity, of the Hundred Years War, led the inhabitants to fortified the Church. It served as a refuge for the population, and thus it allowed to withstand external assaults. The Church then had a belfry, but still no steeple; the Gothic octagonal spire dates from the 14-15C. In 1870, the bell tower was black, to serve as a bitter vessel. Until 1950, it was painted regularly. The base of the steeple testifies to what remains of the edifice of the medieval period if you ascend to the bell tower at 19h , at the time of the Angelus, you will hear the bell ringing very closely in your ears! The steeple of the Church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption has 47 meters in height with 91 steps to climb it and reach a walkway; 20 meters is this walkway above the ground. The more you go up, the more the steps are reduce and become quasi straight!



The smallest bell date 1775; it comes from a Swedish boat probably shipwrecked. The bell has no name. The middle one, done in 1853, is called Marie-Françoise Xavière. The biggest, in bronze, dates from 1818, it is called Magdeleine. It is worth to climb these 91 steps, the panorama on the village of Sainte-Marie de Ré is splendid. Once the promontory was used as a maritime surveillance station. During the week, the bell tower is visited by registering at the Sainte-Marie tourism office. Otherwise, on Sunday morning, members of the Association of Friends of the Church are there. Lovely!


The parish of Ïle de Ré on the Church in Sainte Marie de Ré

The city of Sainte Marie de Ré on tourism info

The Ïle de Ré tourist office on Saint Marie de Ré

There you go folks, another dandy town in beautiful Ïle de Ré island, this is Sainte Marie de Ré, lovely, worth the detour.  Enjoy the Church Notre Dame de l’Assomption, and as this is an island,get to enjoy its beaches ,laidback ambiance,and lovely side streets especially in Summer months. Hope you have enjoy the tour as I.

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

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