Sorbais Église Saint-Martin

What you need to know about this church

Église Saint-Martin Sorbais

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Saint-Martin is located in Sorbais, a village with 264 inhabitants about 15 km west of the town of Hirson in the Département Aisne in the région Hauts-de-France.

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Sorbais Église Saint-Martin
Church from north-east

Visiting Église Saint-Martin

The village of “Sorbais” was first mentioned in 1125 in the cartulary of Chaourse. The first church was then built in the second half of the 12th century, after the parish had significantly increased in area, which justified the construction of a church.

From this century, only the columns of the pointed arches of the aisle arcades remain today: these were built of sandstone and ashlar, while the rest of the church is entirely clad in brick. This is probably an indication that these stones were salvaged from the ruins of the Romanesque church and integrated into the new building.

After the end of the Hundred Years’ War, the building was then completely rebuilt and extended. The fortified bell tower, which is sixteen metres high and four storeys high, dates from 1578, the nave is nine years younger (1587). Traces of loopholes can still be seen on the tower, so that the church – as Meuret writes in his book – “can just be placed in the category of fortified churches”.

The church is open all year round, which offers the opportunity to visit the interior. This is well worth doing, as recent renovation work has uncovered three beautiful 16th-century murals above the altar, dedicated to Jesus, Peter and John.

From the same period, a St Martin on horseback in polychrome wood and stone statue of Mary Magdalene complete the scenery.

Sorbais Église Saint-Martin
Church from south-west