The Church Saint Martin of St Martin de Ré !!

So lets bring you back out to the coast and even beyond to an island off the mainland of France. I am updating and splitting the older post into two as they are different things to see in Saint Martin de Ré on the island or Île de Ré. A Lovely place it reminds me of my favorite islands in a time far away now, but always nice to come back to the roots. island boy, beach bum you name it , the thrills are huge!  However, as usual running with so much to see feel that I need to detail the most important monuments to see according to me lol!  Therefore, let me show you a bit of the Church St Martin on Saint Martin de Ré !!

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Brief introduction to the Île de Ré:

The Île de Ré is the fourth largest island of metropolitan France, behind Corsica, the Île d’Oléron and Belle-Ile sur Mer (Morbihan 56!) It is located in the dept 17 of the Charente-Maritime in the region of Nouvelle Aquitaine. The historic center of the island is Saint-Martin-de-Ré, which forms with the neighboring town of La Flotte the urban unit of the Flotte. The island of Ré is separated from the mainland by the Pertuis Breton and is located north of the islands of Aix, Oléron, Madame and Nôle, and the forts Boyard (see post), d’Enet and Louvois located in the Pertuis of Antioch to the South. Since 1988, it is connected to the mainland by the Pont de Île de Ré or island of Re bridge. Touristic wise, the island is nicknamed “Ré la Blanche” or Re the White one because of the characteristic hue of its traditional houses.

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We move on to the inner city of Saint Martin de Ré ,visiting the Church Saint Martin, with gothic ruins from Normans invasions  in the middle of the high city to be seen from the harbor. Today the oldest part dates from the 15C  on the walls on both sides of the high towers in ruins.  The belltower has a square tower and has three bells.  The parish Church of Saint-Martin in Saint-Martin-de-Ré still stands in Gothic ruins in the heart of the city. Raved repeatedly by the conflicts, it was eventually rebuilt more modestly in the 17-18C, reusing what remained of the Gothic edifice.

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The origins of the city and the Church Saint Martin are poorly known, although the fact that the two were destroyed by the Normans is quite probable. It is known however with certainty that in the 11C, the parish was given in the Puy-en-Velay chapter by the Count of Poitou. The canons will retain the parish until the 16C. However, there remains no vestige of the 11C Romanesque church. The church collapses in large part: only the base of the walls of the nave and the lateral chapels and the high walls of the transept, preserved because of their military importance, have been fortified.

In the 17C the cult was able to resume in the devastated the Church Saint Martin. In 1629, the reconstruction work that was said to begin lasted for several years. But the church was again ravaged in 1696 during the bombardment of the stronghold of Saint-Martin-de-Ré by a fleet consisting of English and Dutch ships. On the first day of the year 1774 the Bell Tower collapses, dragging with it a part of the vaults. It was then decided to rebuild the church by reversing the orientation of the choir: steeple to the East, chorus now to the West. At the French revolution, the cult is momentarily closed. The Bell Tower now serves as a panoramic terrace on the city and its surroundings.

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The oldest parts date from the 15C, these are the walls of the two cross-crosses of the transept, still in elevation, with a path of round and endowed with their portals to the mutilated statuary. There are also the chapels of the present Choir ,and those of the medieval church. One can also see a window of flamboyant style and today obstructed gutted on the north wall. The steeple formed by a square Tower is now visitable and contains three imposing bells: Marie Thérèse (the largest ring ); Charles Catherine , and Marie Pierre Michel Samuel Augustine , the smallest one.

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The Île de Ré tourist office on the churchhttps://www.iledere.com/vivre-et-explorer/explorez-a-votre-rythme/musees-galeries-d-arts-et-artistes-sur-l-ile-de-re/eglise-et-clocher-observatoire-de-saint-martin-de-re-107515

The Parish of Île de Ré on the churchhttp://www.iledereparoisses.fr/pages/les-eglises-de-l-ile-de-re/ile-de-re-centre.html

There you go folks, something to get you over the island, car is king and the ride over the bridge is awesome. Once in the towns walking is best. The Church St Martin is worth the detour. Hope you have enjoy the post and thank you again for stopping by.

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

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