The Saint-Julien Hospital and Chapel of Laval

Wonderful memories indeed and glad we came to Laval. I have several entries on Laval, located in the Mayenne dept 53 of the Pays de la Loire region. I like to tell you with new text and picture on this forgotten one in my vault gladly now in my blog. This is the Hospital and Chapel of Saint Julien ,more about it and hope you enjoy the post as I.

The Saint-Julien Hospital and Chapel of Laval is located at 29-43 quai Paul-Boudet. The hospital disappeared and was also named Saint-Joseph in the 19C.The city had its church by Julien du Mans as early as the 9C. It was not a parish church, but the chapel of the Maison-Dieu, built at the end of the bridge, on the side opposite the town. This hospitable house was at the same time a rather considerable benefice, usually conferred on a personage of distinction. This church, which was doubtless rebuilt several times, or at least enlarged and modified, still existed in the 19C; thus it was, for ten centuries, the main center of the cult of Saint Julien for all the neighboring populations. In 1830, the ancient church of Saint-Julien and the almost ruined buildings of the old hospital were sold to a company of speculators who had the bazaar or passage Saint-Julien built on this site, The hospital archives escaped the French revolution;and they still exist, and are considerable ,The archives of the hospitals of Laval – Saint-Julien and Saint-Louis are kept in the Departmental Archives of Mayenne.


Nothing is known about the time of its foundation. Some historians give the date as the 10C; but by the 15C all the titles which could have made known the truth on this point had already been lost. Everything suggests that this foundation was a benefit of the lords of Laval. Originally it consisted only of a lower room at the level of the Mayenne river at the bottom of the Valley of Saint-Julien. Later a great hall was established against the causeway or turcia of the bridge and on the same level. This room served at the same time as accommodation for the poor and as a chapel for divine service. Later still, it kept only this last destination and Guy XVI de Laval had built for the sick, in 1528, along the wall of the church, a kind of gallery supported by granite columns whose base was in the river In the early days, this house was administered by people forming a kind of brotherhood, and taking the quality of brothers and sisters of the chaplaincy ,This corporation was replaced towards the end of the 13C by ecclesiastics who formed a kind of chapter, and which had a particular cemetery, which was called the Cimetière-Dieu or God cementery, The administration of the Maison-Dieu was changed in the 16C. The Count of Laval, Guy XVII de Laval, or rather his tutor because he was still a minor, withdrew, on February 8, 1556, from the master of the chaplaincy, all authority over this house. At that time, the Maison-Dieu gave her help at home, and received the sick, but it still had neither a doctor nor a surgeon in charge of caring for them. It was only in 1577 that a barber-surgeon was permanently attached to this service. The community of Saint-Joseph suffered less than other religious establishments during the French revolution. The hospital had been declared a military hospice. It was rebuilt at the end of the 19C and was completed in 1899. The Maison Saint Julien Hospital Care Center has owned the chapel since 1987. After its disaffection with worship in the 1980s, the chapel was used as a exhibition space. Since 2000, it has been used as a museum reserve.

The Saint Julien Chapel is of Latin cross and Romano-Byzantine style, it is distinguished by its richly decorated entrance: bas-relief sculptures including a Virgin and Child holding a lily and a statue of Saint Joseph, rose, arcades, etc. A campanile with polygonal spire contains a bell ,The left arm of the transept, formerly the choir of the nuns, consists of a low room with two rows of five arcades and a floor., The ceiling of the lower room is covered with carved oak joists. What corresponds to the nave stricto sensu was formerly reserved for the sick and communicated with the hospital. The choir which describes as a semi-circle is shallow. The interior decor is particularly worthy of interest: The stained glass windows were made between 1901 and 1902, and there are monumental paintings by the painters Maurice Chabas and Emmanuel Cavaillé-Col, sculptures by Joseph Vallet.

The Space Saint Julien, health house for the needy now

The city of Laval on its heritage

The Laval tourist office on its heritage

There you go folks, another dandy find in my vault on the nice City of Laval ,Worth a detour me think, Very little information on them now but from my library and brochures was able to provide general info on it, Again hope you have enjoy the post on the Hospital and Chapel of St Julien as I.

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

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