Collegiate Church Notre Dame of Montreuil-Bellay !

It is closely related to the castle (see post),but the church now stand alone and independant of it. Therefore, having visited it , I will update this older post with new text and links for you and me.  This is Montreuil Bellay in the dept 49 of Maine et Loire and region of Pays de la Loire. It is next to the famous and beautiful castle we have the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame, this started as a chapel of the castle but from its size you can tell the importance of it to the daily life in the area. The visit was very nice indeed. 

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A bit on the town of Montreuil-Bellay as I like. Montreuil-Bellay is located on the Thouet river,  bordering the region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and the departments of Vienne (town of Pouançay) and Deux-Sèvres (town of Saint-Martin-de-Sanzay). Bathed by the Thouet river , Montreuil-Bellay is located in the heart of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park, less than 25 km from Saumur (Maine-et-Loire), Thouars (Deux-Sèvres) and Loudun (Vienne).

The Chapel of Notre Dame will become after the French revolution apart from the castle, the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame (collegiate because it teaches canons:chanoines), it was built 1472-1474 and raised as Collegiate in 1475 and a parish Church in 1810. Inside the Church there is the angevine architecture of vaults.  The Chapel of Notre Dame was hand over to the State after the French revolution and the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame is now open to all as a parish church.

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A bit of official story goes like this: The former chapel of the castle built in the 15C became collegiate served by the canons under the name of Notre-Dame.  It was given to the town and turned into a parish church at the beginning of the 19C following the decommissioning of the old Saint-Pierre church located in the Nobis priory which was falling into ruin.  A bridge over the moat was built in 1863 to give direct access to the church without passing through the castle courtyard. Now there is a stone wall between the castle and the church for privacy. 

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Built between 1472 and 1484 it was commissioned by Guillaume d’Harcourt, lord of Montreuil-Bellay, buried here with his family. It is one of the most prestigious religious buildings of the 15C in Anjou, specific to the Angevin Gothic style. The Collegiate Church of Notre Dame  consists of a large nave 44 meters long and 12 meters wide whose vault at 18 meters height is faithful to the Plantagenet style then in use in Anjou. There is a small oratory where the lord and his family attended, in all discretion, offices. A liter (black band) runs through the walls of the church, at a height that reflected the importance of the lords of the time. At the French revolution, the paintings of the old churches of the city were grouped in the nave. They reflect the provincial nature of art in Anjou under the Ancien Régime (monarchy). In 1810, the collegiate church became parish church and main place of worship of the city.

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The city of Montreuil Bellay on its history/heritagehttps://www.ville-montreuil-bellay.com/en/sitemap/in-english/

The official Parish Church of Notre Dame du Bellayhttps://notredamedubellay.diocese49.org/

There you go folks a wonderful 1-2 combination to do with the castle and more history, architecture and just beauty of my belle France. Hope you enjoy it as we did and do come by to the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame in Montreuil-Bellay.

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

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