La Bouteille Église Notre-Dame

What you need to know about this church

Église Notre-Dame
La Bouteille

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Notre-Dame is located in La Bouteille, a village with 475 inhabitants in the Département Aisne about 7 km north-east of the town of Vervins in the Département Aisne in the région Hauts-de-France.

The church is locked

This church was partly listed as a historical monument in 1927

* denotes external links that open in a new window

La Bouteille Église Notre-Dame
Church from south-east

Visiting Église Notre-Dame

The church of Notre-Dame in La Bouteille (the unusual name of the parish, by the way, derives from the settlement of a bottle factory in 1540) was built in 1547 by the monks of Foigny, and is one of the few fortified churches that was built directly as a fortress.

A rather strange feature is the sacristy, which “sticks” directly to the apse, thus blocking the view of it.

The complex of choir and nave forms a simple rectangle. At each corner rises a tall cylindrical tower covered by a roughly conical roof. There are embrasures at the top of the towers.

The entire building is constructed of sandstone rubble, except for one of the towers, which was built (or reconstructed) of brick around 1860.

The present bell tower was built in the 19th century for the Army Geographical Service, and contains another, smaller, eight-sided spire.

Inside, two paintings by the Parisian painter Edouard Cabane (including “Saint-Joseph et l’enfant Jésus”) are worth seeing, as well as an exceptional 16th-century gilded silver chalice.

The church is usually locked, but you can book a tour through the ‘Greeter’ organisation. We did this when we visited Thiérache over Easter 2024 and were given a very friendly welcome and a very knowledgeable tour of the church by Claire and Jean-Louis. Many thanks again at this point! You can find the link to the Greeter website above.

La Bouteille Église Notre-Dame
Church from the west