Montcornet Église Saint-Martin

What you need to know about this church

Église Saint-Martin Montcornet

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Saint-Martin is located in Montcornet, a commune with 1.291 inhabitants in the Département Aisne in the région Hauts-de-France.

The church is open

This church was listed as a historical monument in 1923

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Église Saint-Martin de Montcornet
Entrance portal

Visiting Église Saint-Martin

Saint-Martin is the largest of the fortified churches in the Thiérache. Miraculously, it was spared the conflicts to which many other churches in the region fell victim. Paradoxically, the church owes its greatest transformation to the great fire that ravaged Montcornet in 1574.

A church was built on the site as early as 1210-1230 of white stone in the ground plan of a Greek cross in the Romanesque style; this is how the church is still preserved today.

The choir, transepts and nave are of equal length. The length (55 metres) is as impressive as the width (35 metres). A “small rural cathedral”.

The fortification of the church began in 1546, it was largely destroyed in the aforementioned fire of 1574: the bell tower collapsed onto the narthex, which in turn collapsed. A new start had to be made.

In 1609, the keep was rebuilt, this time of stone and brick. Two high cylindrical towers were added at the corners, with a staircase leading up to them, and a white stone border running vertically up them as a decorative element. They are also pierced by embrasures.

Each corner of the transept and the choir bears a coulter tower, so there are six of them in all. Above the head end is a maschicule.

The fortifications on the church of Montcornet, however, seem to be mainly decorative. The wide ogival openings of the church were hardly suitable for serious defence.

To enter the church, you have to go through one of the side entrances, because the main entrance is locked. But unlike many others, the church is open every day.
Inside, you are greeted by a spectacular building, which we were unable to appreciate adequately due to lack of time. But the photos at least give a good impression of this beautiful, bright church.