Prez Église Saint-Martin

What you need to know about this church

Église Saint-Martin Prez

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Saint-Martin is located in Prez, a small village with 134 inhabitants in the Département Ardennes in the region Grand Est.

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Visiting Église Saint-Martin

Saint-Martin in Prez is one of my favourite churches among the fortified churches of the Thiérache, and certainly the one of the fortified churches in the Ardennes region. When we visited in 2022, it looked as if it had been freshly renovated, which certainly helped to restore its splendour and elegance. The nave with its lancet windows, the slightly raised choir and the bell tower, which dominates without being oppressive, give the church a harmony that has been shaped by different styles and periods.

The original church was Romanesque, which can be seen in the remains of the nave and the choir, which are still preserved. The choir was raised in the 15th century; the portal – built of white limestone like the entire church – was added later. A date (1695) once appeared there, but it disappeared during work in the 19th century, when the two small chapels serving as transepts were built at the same time.

There are not many traces of fortification, but there are some loopholes, and of course the tapering tower on the south wall. Finally, in the attic of the choir and nave there was once a refuge room with a fireplace that is still visible.

By the way, you can have a look into the tower, during our visit the door was open – as the church seems to be open in general.

Inside, Saint-Martin is richly decorated; the blue-painted choir or the stucco panels telling the life of Jesus and some saints are particularly worth seeing.

View into the nave