The Church Sainte Catherine of Honfleur, exteriors !!!

This is an icon of Honfleur, and uniquely boat roof in wood only one in France! This is my beloved Honfleur and its main Church of Sainte Catherine. We make it a must to stop by each time in town and it has been many luckily ! Coming to see once again the church by the old basin or port of Honfleur is always gratifying. It offers a unique architectural experience and loving history of the locals, hard earned traditions and just a positive feeling all around it. I will split the new pictures into exterior and interior posts. Do read my other posts in my blog on it. Hope you enjoy this wonderful monument of Honfleur as I.

Honfleur ch Saint Catherine side and belltower apart apr23

The Sainte-Catherine Church has the particularity, very rare in France, to be built essentially of wood. The church is located near the old basin (Vieux Bassin) , just behind the Quai Sainte-Catherine. It is the largest Church built in wood with a bell-tower separated from it in France. This choice of material is due to the lack of resources of the inhabitants of the time. But with a drawback, the local Honfleurais were able to make it an asset. With their knowledge of shipbuilding, they built the Church, with two separate naves, in the manner of a ship, with the help of wood from the forest of Touques. The result is breathtaking. Not to be missed.

Honfleur ch Saint Catherine side right apr23

The Church is dedicated to Sainte Catherine of Alexandria as recalled by a wooden sculpture above the porch of the bell-tower separated from the two naves. She is depicted wearing a wheel and a sword. It was built in several campaigns. The first dates from 1460 with the construction of the first nave, the North one. With population growth, a larger church became necessary with the construction in 1496 of the second nave. At the beginning of the 19C, the interior of the church received a plaster coating and a neoclassical porch with Greek columns replaced the primitive porch. Major restoration work was undertaken from 1879 with, in particular, the disappearance of the plaster coating from the nave and the replacement of the Greek porch by the current one in 1929.

Honfleur ch Saint Catherine side and spiral back apr23

Opposite the portal of the Church of Saint Catherine rises a square framed bell tower, covered with essence forming designs and surmounted by an octagonal pyramid in essence, whose quadrangular base is in the shape of an ogee. This bell tower, entirely detached from the church, recalls, if not by its shape, at least by its position certain Italian campaniles, It rests on a stone base that looks like a small building, the main face of which is pierced by a pretty door, surmounted by a pointed arch. The pieces of wood, covered with slates, which connect it to this base are placed on the angles like the props of a house and rest on the roof which surmounts it. The main face is decorated in the middle with a dial that never must have marked the time. The hands of the bell tower clock were installed before 1907. In December 2009, they were gilded again. The crutches of the bell tower date from 1718, they were placed to support the building which was in danger of collapsing. During the wars of religion, the treasure of the Sainte Catherine church was placed in the very firmly closed cellars. The administrators of the hospital held their assemblies there, the other rooms were occupied by the vicars. The bell tower museum was inaugurated in 1959.

Honfleur ch Saint Catherine belltower apart closeup apr23

The Parish of Honfleur on the Church Saint Catherine:

The city of Honfleur on the Church Saint Catherine

The Honfleur tourist office on the Church Saint Catherine :

There you go folks, another gem I said, a must to see ,I said. Enough me think , now its up to you. Enjoy Honfleur , my beloved dear city in Calvados dept 14  ,in Normandy ,in my belle France. Again, hope you enjoy the post on the Church Saint Catherine of Honfleur, exteriors !!! as I

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

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