The Collégiale Church Saint Martin of Champeaux !

And on my ever lasting road warrior trips of my dear Seine et Marne I came again to a new town!  The town of Champeaux is located in the Seine-et-Marne department 77 in the Île-de-France region of my belle France, This is deep country andn beautiful you need a car but darn worth it. I like to tell you a bit on this post about the Collégiale Church Saint Martin! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

The first mention of Champeaux is in the 626 translation of a Vita sancte Fare, or “Life of Saint Fare” since lost. This is countryside very old neighborhood but the real France !!! A must for the road warrior in all of us.

Small as it is, it packs a lot, The Saint-Martin Collegiate Church, This is one of the largest churches in Île-de-France, the last remnant of a community created by Saint Fare (Faremoutiers Abbey) since the parish church was destroyed in the French revolution and the other religious buildings still standing have become dwellings.The church among other things, it contains 16C oak stalls and 14C Gothic tombstones. Under restoration since the 1999 storm, the church is open daily from 9h to 18h.

Champeaux coll ch Saint Martin front may23

In facing the Collegiale Church Saint Martin you will notice the western facade of the church, dominated by its 28-meter bell tower. The upper part of the western wall of the nave is perforated with a triplet, of which we notice the finesse of the overmantels. Only the floor of the belfry of the bell tower brightens up the facade. Placed on a stump of two levels in cut limestone and rubble, it is directly inspired by the towers of Notre-Dame of Paris. Square in shape, each of its faces has two high bays with triple arches supported by ringed columns. On either side, two veneered blind arcades, topped by an oculus, take their place under a mitered arch. Only a turret animates the corner of the bell tower.

Champeaux coll ch Saint Martin belltower may23

Crossing the threshold of the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin, you will be struck by the scale of the church, its relative stylistic homogeneity, and its luminosity. Note that most of the original claw bases are still intact. The capitals are all different and present a quality sculpture, inspired by the local flora. Adorned with flat, toothed or lobed leaves, with hooks, they are similar to those of the choir of Notre-Dame de Paris, It remains to mention the passageway on the reverse of the triplet of the facade, which connects the attic of the aisles, as well as the triumphal arch towards the crossing of the transept. Near this transverse beam, as elsewhere at the beginning of the nave, the small columns of the warheads and formlets descend to the ground. This is also the case for the small columns of the doubleau archivolt, which is decorated with a double row of broken sticks, one positive, the other negative. Built between around 1160 and 1180, the transept is the oldest part of the church, which suggests that it was initially grafted onto the choir of the old church. The construction of the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin was completed with the construction of the choir, which, started around 1270, was to end around 1315, or even around 1350 only for the vaults. . If the single-cylinder pillars do not correspond to this stylistic period, this is probably the mark of the canons’ desire to ensure the stylistic uniqueness of the entire collegiate church.

Champeaux coll ch Saint Martin nave to altar may23

Champeaux coll ch Saint Martin altar may23

Four low rectangular chapels extend the three naves , constituting with the side aisles a sort of angled ambulatory. In 1653, seventy-two painted glass panels decorated the collegiate church and lined forty windows of the fifty-two in the collegiate church. You have isolated saints on them such as Saint Genevieve tending sheep ; Saint Catherine , and Saint Denis cephalophore. The collegiate church has an exceptional set of 54 stalls distributed on either side of the transept. There are thus 26 low stalls and 28 high stalls, these stalls, dates from 1522, Much less known than the stalls, often ignored by visitors, the funerary slabs of the Collegiale Church of Saint-Martin nevertheless constitute a very foreground engraved set testifying to funeral art in the 13C and 14C and the celebration of the cult of the dead in the Middle Ages. The most beautiful specimens are grouped together in the bedside chapels, slabs of canons, deacons or sub-deacons adjoining those of knights or noble ladies.  The old high altar and its large wooden altarpiece dating from the 17C, formerly located at the back of the choir and relegated to the south transept since 1954-1955. The altarpiece is decorated with a Saint Mary Magdalene at the foot of Christ on the Cross.

Champeaux coll ch Saint Martin back inside may23

Champeaux coll ch Saint Martin side stained glass window may23

Champeaux coll ch Saint Martin Christ arisen statue may23

A bit of history I like

The Collegiate Church of Saint-Martin had as its ancestor an abbey or rather a priory, which, according to the chronicles of Saint-Denis, was founded by Sainte Fare . The monastery would have been accompanied by a church dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. By her will written in 634, Sainte Fare actually gave land located in Champeaux to the abbey of Faremoutiers, of which she was the founder. Her father, Hagneric, count of Meaux and mayor of the palace, had owned all the lands of Champeaux. When he died, he left them to his children: Fare, Saint Faron, Bishop of Meaux, and Saint Valbert, Abbot of Luxeuil. If these facts are indisputable since the will of Sainte Fare has been preserved, we can no longer prove that Sainte Fare is the founder of the priory, because the archives of the abbey of Faremoutiers were destroyed in a fire before the middle of the 12C. Be that as it may, the establishment of a small subsidiary of Faremoutiers is not implausible. Saint Merry, suffering from an illness when he went to Paris, would have taken refuge in the monastery of Champeaux between 697 and 700.

It was placed under the protection of the Bishop of Paris, and undertook the construction of a new church around 1160. Its dimensions are particularly imposing: with a length of 65 meters, it is one of the largest Gothic churches of the 12C and 13C in Île-de-France. Indeed, there is no triforium, and the windows are provided with networks only in the collaterals of the choir. This does not exclude careful execution, in particular with monolithic columns, particularly fine, and capitals of high quality.

Under the Fronde, on September 16, 1652, three regiments, one under Prince Louis II of Bourbon-Condé, the other under Prince Armand de Bourbon-Conti and the third being German, stormed Champeaux and plundered the Collegiate Church of Saint Martin. They destroy archives, sacred vessels, priestly vestments; occupy the church with their horses and burn the gate. At the end of the French revolutionary period, the collegiate presented a serious state of decay which required disproportionate work with regard to the resources of the rural town of Champeaux ,Founded in 1946, the association of Friends of the Collegiale Saint-Martin de Champeaux committed for more than sixty-five years to the restoration of the collegiate church. Its main objective is to raise funds to finance its restoration, because neither the State, represented by the Department of Historic Monuments, nor the General Council of Seine-et-Marne have a sufficient budget for it,

The Renaissance stalls and remarkable stained glass windows are among the notable artistic achievements of the 15C and 16C in the Paris region. Despite its dimensions, the collegiate was not intended as a parish church between 1242 and 1790, and was therefore only used for the celebrations of the canons, who numbered twenty-three between 1208 and 1594, then again numbered twelve. The French revolution put an end to the existence of the chapter, and Champeaux lost its role as chief town of the provostship of the chapter, which extended over a number of lordships. The collegiate became a parish church, Today, the old Saint-Martin Collegiate Church is finally restored; it retains its vocation as a place of worship for the parish center of Mormant, and Sunday masses continue to be celebrated there throughout the year.

The official Collegiale Saint Martin of Champeaux :

The town of Champeaux and its heritage

There you go folks, another dandy ride in my road warrior mode,again, And another first in my world map in quant countryside Champeaux !! Always so much to see in my belle France.  This is the Collegiale Church of Saint Martin, Again ,hope you enjoy the post as I

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

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