Hary Église Saint-Corneille-et-Saint-Cyprien

What you need to know about this church

Église Saint-Corneille-et-Saint-Cyprien Hary

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Saint-Corneille-et-Saint-Cyprien is located in Hary, a small village with 193 inhabitants about 7 km south of Vervins in the Département Aisne in the région Hauts-de-France.

The church is locked

This church was listed as a historical monument in 1994

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Hary Église Saint-Corneille-et-Saint-Cyprien
Church from south-east

Visiting Église Saint-Corneille-et-Saint-Cyprien

The church of Saint-Corneille and Saint-Cyprien has a peculiarity that is unique among the fortified churches of the Thiérache: the keep here is only for passive defence, unlike the keep of Prisces, whose near-twin it is and which, incidentally, it inspired just as much as the keeps of Burelles and Rogny. There are no bretèche, no machicolations, not even embrasures, just high brick walls.

But this is not the only thing that makes the church worth seeing – even if it is unfortunately locked (although a key is probably available on site “as an exception”, see link to the tourism page above).

A first church was built here between 1160 and 1180; the choir – a rare example of early Gothic architecture in the region – and the white stone nave are still preserved. The original side aisle was destroyed; its existence can be recognised on the north side of the nave by three pointed-arch brick arcades, which are now bricked up.

Saint-Corneille and Saint-Cyprien was then fortified in 1619; the year is engraved in the keystone of the vault of the narthex. The coat of arms of René du Bec and Isabeau de Coucy, the lords of Vervins who financed the construction of the keep, is engraved on the wall next to the door.

Both the keep and the associated stair tower are 16 metres high and built entirely of brick. Decorations adorn the outer walls of both buildings: a cross, four diamonds and four hearts are carved into the walls with glazed bricks.

The stair tower led to the escape room on the upper floor. An architectural trick ensured that this became larger and larger as the height increased, as the thickness of the walls tapered towards the top. Unfortunately, this floor and the staircase no longer exist today.

Hary Église Saint-Corneille-et-Saint-Cyprien
Church from south-west