Vervins Église Notre-Dame

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Interior view 360°

Exterior view

Columns covered with votive pictures

What you need to know about this church

Église Notre-Dame Vervins

Where to find this church

Church Information

Église Notre-Dame is located in Vervins, a commune with 2.600 inhabitants in the Département Aisne in the région Hauts-de-France.

The church is open every day
from 9 am to 7 pm

This church was listed as a historical monument in 1975

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Vervins Église Notre-Dame
Belltower from north-west

Visiting Église Notre-Dame

It is noticeable that there are not very many defensive elements to be seen: a small tower at the corner of the northern transept and a few embrasures, the defences here are really reduced to a minimum. This is mainly due to the fact that Vervins was surrounded by a protective city wall and 22 towers in the 16th century (a dozen of which are still preserved today).

However, this did not stop Spanish attackers from breaching these defences and destroying the church in 1552. As a result, not much of the first, simple church from the 12th century is still recognisable: only a few remains in the choir and transept are still standing.

Notre-Dame was rebuilt in 1553 and the spectacular bell tower was erected in 1555. It has three levels: a 7 m x 7 m vestibule with a radial vault, a mezzanine floor and a final floor, which served as escape rooms. The height of each level is approx. 8 metres, resulting in a total wall height of 25 metres. An approx. 10 m high spire crowns the whole, giving a total height of 35 metres.

Over the course of four centuries, the church has undergone many changes, which have not necessarily improved the aesthetics of the building.

The interior of the church, on the other hand, is spectacular. Eight columns are covered with votive pictures painted between 1564 and 1590, depicting the patrons surrounded by scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. These were probably painted by local artists. Further columns were painted with plant motifs in the 19th century.

There is also a lot of furniture and paintings, some of which come from the Val Saint-Pierre Carthusian monastery, including the famous painting by Jouvenet “Le repas du Christ chez Simon le Pharisien”, which was painted in 1699. Above the choir is a blue star vault.

Vervins Église Notre-Dame
Belltower from south-west