• Historic site and monument

Church of St. Martin - Villargerel

The central layout of this church, built between 1682 and 1685 by local master masons, is in the shape of a Greek cross, which makes the church very original. It is already appealing seen from the outside, but has a whole other set of treasures hidden within.

Historic site and monument Church of St. Martin - Villargerel Grand-Aigueblanche


Grand-Aigueblanche (73260)
Animals not allowed
Unguided individual tours available permanently
Guided individual tours on request

The date on which Jean Meilleur finished the construction - 1685 - is carved into the entrance gate, even though the exterior was renovated in 1987 and the stonework was exposed.
As soon as it was built, the church was decorated with a fascinating fresco painted on the interior walls. Make sure you check out the altarpiece located to the south (on your right as you go in), which was restored in the late 20th century: "sheathed caryatids" - human torsos with no visible legs - support an entablature featuring a frieze richly decorate with flowers, fruit and angel heads. The walls of this chapel are completely covered in painted chevrons - a rarity in the region!
The hanging cupola is divided into eight vault sections decorated during the 19th century with medallions representing the Apostles. The decoration of its base combines stucco and painting to give a trompe l'œil effect. Just like the fake balustrade, everything is done in order to add relief and perspective!
Jacques Clérant realised the main altarpiece, with all its broken lines and movements, in 1707. Its twisted columns divide it into three sections. In the centre, in the painting of the Crucifixion, there are two groups of holy characters: on the left are St. Mary, St. John and St. Catherine of Alexandria. On the right are St. Francis de Sales, St. Sebastian and St. Anthony. At the front, the 19th-century tabernacle is treated like a miniature altarpiece, with its door showing the pelican feeding its young (a symbol of the Eucharist).
Jacques Clérant also sculpted the Rosary altarpiece, to the left, in 1712.
The walnut pulpit illustrates the Evangelists on its side panels, the Good Shepherd bearing the lost sheep on the back and, under the sounding board, the Dove of the Holy Spirit.


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    Free of charge


    Animals not allowed
    Languages spoken : French
    Languages visits : French


    From 06/07 to 31/08/2024 between 3 pm and 6 pm.
    Closed on Monday.
    Outside these hours, on request at +33 (0)4 79 24 31 31.

    Labels and rating

    Town of Art & History
    19th C
    17th C
    18th C
    20th C

    • Car park
    • Private parking


    Villargerel Aigueblanche 73260 Grand-Aigueblanche

    • Accessible for wheelchairs with assistance
    Information update on 25/04/2024 by Fondation Facim