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Castellane and Romanesque churches: topographic survey

​Contribution to a study of topography

The old church of Notre-Dame-du-Plan

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It was once one of the most illustrious houses dependent of Saint-Victor de Marseille, but this is one of the most forgotten. It is the location of the ancient city (Salinae), in a place "called of any antiquity Cimera, at the foot of the mountain of Sennaz". The episcopal see transferred to Castellane towards the end of the 5th century and the habitat of plain abandoned the Habitat perched on the rock, the monks of Saint-Victor returned to these lands after the turmoil and decided as soon as 970, with the support of the Bishop of Marseilles Honorat, to assert rights they claimed to be very old. It is as a monastic Church succeeded the fallen Cathedral, according to a process which are well known examples, particularly at Cimiez near Nice.
1040, the Church was given (several charters show that it was in fact a refund) to Marseille Abbey at the moment even where the consecration of the Abbey by Pope Benedict IX gathered a crowd of prelates and Lords and warmed their zeal. This donation, renewed in 1053, is signed by the feudal lords of large-scale, Aldebert, his wife Ermengarde, brothers Amiel, Bishop of Senez and Rostang as well as several of their nephews. It specifically mentions "the Notre Dame church in the territory of the Roche de Castellane, at the foot of the mountain of Sennaz, in the place formerly called Cimira with the churches built around Basilica of Sainte Marie said and which are those of Saint John, Saint Pierre and Saint Laurent, with the parish, the inhabitants of the city, the dependencies of the Church and lands around"land whose boundaries are also described with a conservative precision. These churches were the memory of the primitive episcopal group.They disappeared without leaving visible traces.

The importance of the Priory

The Priory became quickly important and received many donations from the Lords of Castellane and the Bishops of Senez. They were confirmed December 23, 1122 by Bishop Aldebert.
The Church was the seat of a parish, the new city, while Saint-Victor served the new town. Traces of a large cemetery was found with it. In the 13th century, the prior of Notre Dame appointed the priests of the other parishes of Castellane. At the end of the middle ages, he was still receiving offerings and funeral rights in the churches of Saint-Victor and the Augustinians. It was probably the memory of the anteriority of Notre-Dame. In the sixteenth century however, there was more to the Plan than a prior and a sacristan, who even did not reside. In 1560, the buildings were devastated by the protestants and ransacked the church furniture. The minutes of the damage tells us that the altarpiece of the high altar was still John the Baptist beside the Virgin and several other saints. The prior being grabbed only revenues, he was condemned to provide for Church repairs and maintenance of a chaplain who should there say mass every day and attend the Sunday high mass and canonical hours in Saint-Victor. During his visit in 1787, Bishop de Castellane-Adhemar said only that "the little door of the Church need at least repairs". The divine service was provided until the Revolution.
Sold and then assigned to a linen factory, Notre-Dame-du-Plan is now converted into housing. It has undergone some 20 years ago a pretty disgraceful exterior renovation. As the internal volume, it was long intersected in height; but it is recognized in the cellar and the attic its provisions old, known also by Laurensi, who do market not his admiration for this 'temple venerable by its antiquity, by its structure, by the Holy characters that sanctified it' and says that it offers a vessel of a taste Gothic - i.e. medieval - long of approximately twelve cannes (22 m) of the setting sun in the East, high at least fifty pans (11 m 25).

Archaeological study

The single nave (long. about 19 m, width 7 m), was punctuated by three bays by engaged columns. It ended on the East by an apse covered in apse whose front arc drew a broken hanger ("a beautiful shell forming the sanctuary", note Laurensi). This apse was destroyed to build the House. But going up in the attic, you can still get an idea of the beauty of the primitive order. The current floor allows to admire without difficulty, otherwise without affliction, the broken beautiful barrel vault covering the vessel.
It is highlighted by a cord in flattened nosing (H. 0 m 15) P. 0 m 12) and relieved only by two rectangular Timbers (0 m 47 x 0 m 23), excluding shaping. These timbers fall on engaged columns (0 m 53 diameter; projection: 0 m 28), depending on the formula chosen by the Alpine churches, and crowned with cubic capitals ("Gothic capitals", says Laurensi), which several witnesses can be easily examined in the apartments. The proportions - wider high - baskets (h. 0 m 275, l. 0 m 585, P. 0 m 30) are consistent with a template frequently used in the lombard style. The capitals tailloir offers the same moldings as the cord of the vault.
The walls are 1 m 40 thick. Are fitted in very hard greyish limestone, on average however very neat device, joints purposes but in tiles of size variable (the foundations vary between 0 m 17 and 0 m 32 in height). The fact had not escaped Laurensi which noted: "all the building inside and outside is built in stones of different colours and of unequal size, United together by a wonderful symmetry and a mortar there are more bright stone". Laurensi also reported a Roman funerary inscription remployée in the foundations of the Church; It was destroyed during the construction of the factory in the 19th century. Two others were mentioned by fat-Bourguet in 1842 with the Church.

Doors, and side walls

It had formerly four doors: two to the South, the smallest being as usual one of the prior and the greater the main gate; to the West, fairly narrow, seen again, led to the cemetery; the fourth in the North, near the choir, gave access "to a beautiful bell tower" already gone in 1775 and on which we would like to learn more.Laurensi only note: "there is appearance it was demolished by the Huguenots or the emergence of Charles V in Provence" (1536) We are two beautiful bells, including the largest, weighing more than 16 quintals, called Notre-Dame, was placed in the Bell Tower of Saint-Victor and the second on the clock tower". The Church having been ravaged several times, he had most of his time "as a single simple altar having only what is strictly necessary".
The main portal, alas massacred in recent times, is of considerable interest: dichromie of the Assizes of the jambs and voussoirs, device in staircase of the archivolt, extradosed, simplicity of the archivolt broken arches extending just jumps from the side walls, the only graffito being the Carter by the fanlights (and yet only to the axis), eardrum intended to be painted. All these characters are close to those of the portal of Saint-Victor.
The side walls were still good looks, although they have been distorted, like the Western pinion, by many modern windows. But many are the expansion of original windows, which were small bays arches whose painings is still the departure of arcs extradosed and part of the walls. They were simply ébrasées without no moldings. Laurensi notes indeed "only a small number of narrow windows... let (indoors) for a religious darkness". We know also thanks to him that the apse was "adorned outside cornice, supported by pilasters rounded, which are based on different cords". You can imagine a chevet decorated with festoons on balusters Senez Cathedral-like.

Characters and date

This is in addition to other higher-rated "Lombard" characters and confirms that Notre-Dame-du-Plan was a construction extremely neat and trimmed the particularities of alpine architecture.
The portal of Notre-Dame-du-Plan offers a great kinship with that of Saint-Victor everything being less hairline. This nuance and the fact that it still adopted the system of the cradle broke to cover the nave, while in Saint-Victor was used at the crossroads of square warheads (for hunch it is true a slightly larger ship) seem to militate in favour of a somewhat older date for Notre Dame, either at the beginning of the 13th century. How not to regret that this prestigious monument was abandoned and transformed so as to render almost unrecognizable? Is it permissible to dream about the day where a part at least of the building could regain its original nobility? In the meantime, it is hard to believe that it enjoys no protection in respect of Historic Monuments.

The Church Saint-Victor

As early as the 11th century, the population had begun, let us remember, to leave habitat perched Petra Castellana to northeast of the Valley, on a hill near the castrum, in what one would call the village. It was formed in the 12th and 13th centuries and received in turn an enclosure in 1359. The rock was abandoned during the 14th century and its premises destroyed in 1390. The village was already considerable in 1189 as at that date, after 18th-century historian Laurensi, Boniface III would actually mention as an essential part of the community in the tribute that he travelled to the comte de Provence, King Alphonse of Aragon.
It is the center of the new "town" that rises the Church Saint-Victor. Installed on land previously owned by the Marseille Abbey, it seems to have been United from the outset to the Priory Victorin de Notre-Dame. The prior of Notre-Dame served as curial in one and the other parish. In 1260, Petra Castellana parish, located in Saint-André, was transferred to Saint-Victor, at the request of the Trustees, due to the fact that the majority of the inhabitants were now residing in the village. In 1442, the parish office was also transferred from Notre Dame in Saint-Victor, who became the only Parish Church of Castellane. In 1458, a parish priest, a secondary, a cleric and a monk the served. In the 17th century, the monks were replaced by secular priests headed a priest appointed by the Abbot and recognized by the Bishop of Senez. After the Secularization of the Abbey (1751), the title of prior-cure nevertheless persisted until the French Revolution.

Construction of the Bell Tower

In 1445, according to Laurensi, was built against the north side of the nave the current Bell Tower "with the stones that were removed to the ramparts of the ancient city", it means the speaker of the primitive village at the top of the "Roc". But the St. Victor Church was more sufficient for the population of the new town. It was decided to enlarge it by adding, as in a host of other churches, to the single ship a second nave, also on the north side. The implementation of this second vessel only at the level of the two-span indicates that it is posterior to the construction of the Bell Tower. As in the Bell Tower, note in this part of the monument the use of stones to bosses which denote the reuse of materials borrowed from the ramparts of the upper town. This first aisle was "formerly" dedicated to Saint-Jean-Baptiste (it is here that were probably the baptismal) and 18th, to the Virgin: Laurensi time it was called nave of the Rosary, because the subject of the altarpiece.
The departmental archives retain a record of the damage caused by protestants in March 1560.
This document, published below Ms. M.M. Viré, is full of interesting details: coverage was dilapidated, the furniture and liturgical vestments were sacked. It is not indifferent to learn that on the altarpiece trashed, the effigy of saint André, owner of the old parish, was a counterpart to that of saint Victor with the Virgin. It was probably three panels at bottom of gold in the taste of those of the Brea school at the beginning of the century, which a copy late and luxury survives in Saint Martin D'entraunes.

State of the Church

One may wonder if the building never recovered fully when we think about the deplorable state where found him at the end of the 17th century the Bishop of Senez Soanen, who expressed with characteristic zeal. His visit minutes show that all was not for better, even under the old regime, in what is now termed "historic monuments". May 4, 1697, Soanen, outraged, orders to repair the keypad and the roof of the choir, charged to the prior, pave the nave, borne by the community to repair roofing, plastering and "launder" walls "at least the coste's Street"... "The nave is in an awful indecency by the inequality of the ground, can never be paved due to continual funerals, which can also cause considerable harm to common health". The Bishop ordered that there bury more that by building a vault and paying "once and for all the sum of came books, of which half will be allocated to the factory of the nave and the other to the hospital". In addition, a cemetery must be created outside the city. Unfortunately, on October 20, 1698, nothing is done. Soanen found "de coste field (in the North) all walls décrépies and spoiled... various openings in the wall of the coste field, that told us estre as many streams in times of high humidity". The Bell Tower, he finds "degrees in poor condition... floors broken, the roof open in some places, those of the two aisles in the same State, very exposed to the rain". The zealous prelate ordered all necessary measures and renews the prohibitions on "continuous burials". Vain. In 1707 Soanen always find Saint-Victor "in a large dirtiness, the choir without keypad, without glass, piles of trash everywhere, the nave and the"Chapel"of the Rosary well, soil without keypad, the roof without cover, the bones of the dead spread in various places, rain and snow is falling everywhere like in the street in the first stormdarkness is still very large and very small space. As the Bell Tower, he finds "with a very large plain estonnement of skulls of dead and piles of junk... the top of the tower... in a very pitiful state".

Threats of the Bishop

It is too much. In 1708, the Bishop decides "that the window of the altar will be repaired as well as the degrees where one goes for communion; that all the walls of the sacristy will be recrépis and bleached". But above all he says to the consuls "for extreme indecency... the Bell Tower, mal assured top, and mainly the nave without keypad, without a roof, without enough day ny of spaced for half the population, we there dez now the divine office in the parish church... by a banned... If the community had decided to itself the construction of a new Church". However, if the new construction is not started in the past year of the day of the publication of peace (the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713) or "the church present repairs are not completed within two years after the peace, so that the nave of today be increased by at least half in length, width and heightthat the entire floor is covered, that all fenestres will be expanded and glazed with lurked wire (lattice) and that the entire roof of the nave and... of the chapel of the Rosary is trimmed beams and cartons, in addition to the tiles to prevent the ravage of the rains...; lack of carry out the conditions above and past the said two years of peace, we prohibit dez now for the time of the Church of St Victor".
These threats had a late effect. It was only in 1780 that was completed the construction of the second northern aisle, including proportions, more chick that those of the first, were far short of the wishes of the prelate, and probably one of the top floor of the Bell Tower, both poor and comical.
The fact remains that Jean-Joseph-Victor de Castellane-Adhemar, sixth successor Soanen, found himself satisfied with cheap. He let appear his satisfaction in arriving, on 13 may 1787, in a church Saint-Victor in little close in State: "we have been charmed, he writes, to see this church today very clean and very decent, decorated and even enlarged to contain all the faithful of this parish." It is primarily to the zeal and the generosity of the St Curé of this city that is due (sic) the embellishment of the temple of the Lord".

An exemplary case

Indeed, usefully reminds that, despite the zeal of a Bishop, the decisive role in the construction of a parish church was then returning to the parish priest. If he took things to heart, if he knew galvanize his flock and the factory, raise funds, even engulf his property, it was successful. How not to think, mutatis mutandis, to the dedication of an Olier or a Languet de Gergy at Saint-Sulpice in Paris? Laurensi was their temper. Bishop de Castellane continues: "the shrine is well decorated, everything is in clean and proper condition to divine service". He was obviously referring to the furniture of the choir (on which we will return) but probably also to unsightly white and yellow whitewash that, in his zeal, good cure Laurensi had been widely spread on the beautiful device of the old vessel. Cannot make him grievance. The practice was normal since the high middle ages. A church "well bleached" was the dream of all, faithful to the prelates. Monsignor de Castellane - Adhemar is therefore a few observations to make: "it not only to repair the bottom of the walls around the choir and sanctuary on the side of the levant". In the nave "need to repair a small crack on the ceiling above the window of the tribune and the keypad that is pressed in the second nave". As the Bell Tower, "it is necessary to repair the roof and the floor of the highest floor, replace cords (archivolts) to each window to maintain the building, abbattre buget (piece of iron or wood) threatening ruin to the lower window of the midi and redo the Bell broken".
Indeed, according to Canon belly, from June 29, 1778, Laurensi would have proceeded to the solemn blessing of three bells consolidated, dedicated to Saint Mary, saint Victor and saint André. On October 11, a fourth Bell would have been dedicated to saint Isarn. Add that the tireless prior, just installed, had, as early as 1776, makes clean up the sacristy and the Church, dedicated to moisture, using an "aqueduct".
Then the revolutionary excesses made necessary a refurbishment in 1800-1808. But the Church was cruelly suffer abandonment. At the end of the 19th century for the benefit of the new parish built nearby from 1869. A historical monument in 1944, Saint-Victor was the subject in 1949, under the direction of architect P. Colas, various works of conservation (reroofing, consolidation of the Bell Tower). Population is committed in recent years to its rehabilitation in accordance with the service of historical monuments (including repair of the cornice of the apse).

Archaeological study

The Church consists of a nave of three bays followed directly an apse in a semi-circle. There was added to the North a first aisle of two bays covered with vaults in the 15th century, and then a second aisle, in the 18th century, two spans, covered also vaults. It is the main vessel that holds the attention under his particular roofing.
It is built in a way for joints, in a beautiful very hard white limestone unit. The apse, a slightly narrower and less high than the nave, is surmounted by a large ass from oven. His birth is accused by a quarter of a flat round headband, and his head two-roller arc draws an arch. An oculus, probably expanded or substituted for a Phillips Bay in the 18th century, too widely pierces the pinion who redeems the difference in level between the apse and nave. The top of the oven ass also accidentally opened in the 18th century to give more light, the three windows of the apse having been masked by wood panelling and an array of altar at the same time.
The nave conquers with at the outset by its solemn proportions, despite its modest dimensions, and by the power of its vaults to large rectangular branches. These intersect without keys, except in the last two spans where they exist in an embryonic State. They fall, as well as the timbers on wide rectangular pillars. The top of these is not entirely occupied by the impact; the DSouza resulted in withdrawal from 0 m, 17, on a kind of small terrace crowned by a quarter round sidelights (projection: 0.08). Warheads are semi-circular but the timbers are arches broken (while in Fréjus they draw even a full hanger); they are also surhaussés (as in Fréjus), relieving the line height of the longitudinal compartments. The side compartments remain more swollen: However, we note that their line of contact with the wall - there is nor bows frames, as in Fréjus, or shaping — draws a broken clothes hanger. The vaulting are paired with remarkable regularity, parallel to the ridge lines. There, as in Fréjus, the small quarter round Raven (height: 0 m 15: prof. 0.18) for the basis of the timbers, to the level where actually begins the curvature of the arc, stilted as we have noticed (that is, 0 m 58 of the top of the stack). It was intended for the installation of the wooden clothes hangers. As to the branches of warheads, they fall not on the batteries, as in Frejus, as these are less prominent, but on heavy consoles (H.0, 52) launched obliquely, at the level of the transoms of the batteries, in the angles of the wall. They offer a flat face surmounted a large quarter round crowned by a small band in quarter round flattened in agreement with the transom of the pillar.
Each span is lit in the South by a Bay enlarged in the 18th century and slightly skewed to the East, that of the first span, broken hanger, having probably been enlarged from 15th.
On the north side, the primitive wall in beautiful unit has been drilled in the second and third bays by large arches arches broken to ensure communication with the first collateral. To the right of the battery, you can still see the former exterior cladding of the nave. The vaults hold the collateral, separated by timbers semicircular, have probably been redone in the 18th century, when it established the second northern, high shoulder without great care in rubble and lit by windows arches buses to the North. The altar of the souls of purgatory was there once, as well as the "tribune" of Laurensi, where was the altar of saint Michel, usual dedication to an altar in a floor or a high place.
C. J. Taylor.

Façade and Bell Tower of Saint-Victor

This provision probably allowed the prior access directly from his home in the Church and to recite the office. It was frequent in monastic or canonical churches.Digne Cathedral, Marshal Gassendi could similarly ensure on the choir since the chapter buildings. Here a door drilled at the bottom of the Western Wall also offers a direct access in the collateral.
Outside, the Western elevation juxtaposes clearly the various campaigns of construction: collage in bad rubble of the second north aisle, the first aisle and the Bell Tower of the 15th century, the beautiful facade, no door but pierced by a small oculus, from the Romanesque period.
The Bell Tower has attracted attention, with its chains of angles to bosses borrowed from demolished ramparts and its bays the voussoirs and the side walls mounted in hard stone, while the rest of the walls is in rubble. The first floor is lit on each side by a large Bay two-roller which we note the trace semicircular arch, in the middle of the 15th century. The second provides similar arrays, except on two sides (North and East), where it is emboldened to weaken the wall by two twin bays.' The coronation was insured by a pyramidal arrow. In 1707 Soanen says that Bell Tower had beheaded his arrow "40 years ago". The small floor low, coarse moellonage and drilled two short rectangular openings, which today serves as depreciation is just a mending inexpensively operated in the 18th century.With its poor roof with two slopes, it dishonors this tower with military overtones.
On the other hand, the south facade retains great nobility. It presents to the East a small walled door which we admire the archivolt arches broken, typically "Lombard", paired in senior voussoirs (l. springers: 0.53) with the underside and the upper surface are not concentric. It is probably that which Soanen said in October 1698 "that the small door which gives in the choir is very inconvenient". Another small door had been pierced in the second Bay in the 18th century. In the first span opens the portal, with a simplicity and purity of remarkable line. The door itself is housed in a large archivolt arches broken at two rollers which falls on rectangular jumps through a transom just banister of a Carter inwards. The eardrum, absolutely smooth, was intended to receive a decoration of paintings. A door with a very similar taste can be seen also in Notre-Dame-du-Plan.

Drawings and oriental pinion

The walls are worth the quality of the device (stones of 0.55 of long and high average 0.33) to slightly rough surfaces.
The south facade is absolutely flat, the lower foothills, the thickness of the wall and especially the large enough Interior pillars to absorb the thrust of the vaults of warheads. Two rows of big crows (at 3 m 85 3 m floor 10) along the wall, as at Digne Cathedral, recalls that there were an awning frame or a side portico, common in the Alps and available for various uses of the community.
The apse is the most beautiful part of the building. There are three widely ébrasées bays that once lit the choir. Under the roof runs a 'Lombard' ledge formed by a bandage over a Cove and a file continues twenty arches arches broken; they are cut each into a single slab and rely on benefits finely carved tip; their elegant design recalls those of the bedside tables of the cathedrals of Senez and Grasse.
The Eastern gable shows traces of the various campaigns of the Church: pinion and primitive walls of the Romanesque church and the "collages" of collateral both successively raised against it.


It is not question of reporter, as has been often once its construction in the 11th century. Apparently, nothing remains of the 11th century Notre-Dame-du-plan.The perfection of the appliance and construction, advanced type of vaults of warheads, the portal and the cornice of the bedside attest that the present church was raised in the first half of the 13th century, between the Cathedral of Frejus and Grasse. Can not assign it, as you wrote, in the same "workshop" than that of the Cathedral of Fréjus. The brokenness of the timbers and the arc of the ass of oven, the strong increase in lateral vaulting, the adoption of consoles for deposition of warheads indicates other practices and a subsequent evolution, yet more advanced Stadium in the ancient Church of the Augustinians.


The chorus, that Laurensi Scotland to have "regularized... giving it a shape to the more graceful contours", preserves an interesting set of 18th and the beginning of the 19th century: high altar with a tabernacle four-poster, beautiful relief carved and gilded in a large wooden frame rockery and representing the Annunciation, woodwork with tables, stalls and pulpit preaching etc.
In the first aisle to note the altar of the Virgin, wooden Golden, topped by a superb altarpiece (1724).

Dimensions of the Church Saint-Victor

General work width: 19.35 metres.
Length of the Church in work: 21.90 m.
The Romanesque nave length: 18.90 metres.
Width of the Romanesque nave: 7.28 meters.
Depth of the apse: 3 metres.
Diameter of the apse: 5.40 metres.
Height of the nave: 9.90 meters.


The chapel Notre-Dame-du-Roc has its origins in the church built near the castle of Aldebert 1st on the platform of the rock in the 11th century.
If one believes Laurensi (but can we trust it?) it had already been "rebuilt three times" at the time where he wrote (1775). The excellent prior assigns one of his demolitions to the Huguenots in 1560, but one wonders if it had not been victim before the destruction of the fortress in the 15th century. According to him, it would have measured 30 steps from long (44 metres) ten wide (14 meters) which appears very much; She was "all built of stone, rude and linked by a unalterable mortar... the walls were very thick and supported a barrel vault", the apse was covered with an apse. Laurensi also writes that she was somewhat similar to Saint-Victor, except the system of vaults, which seems a bit contradictory. He added that the Church was smaller than a third of his time, (i.e. about 30 meters, which seems more likely). The chapel would have been "rebuilt in its first form in 1590". The religious of the thanks settled there from 1663 to 1672. Fallen into disrepair in 1703 it would have been then rebuilt by a certain Joseph Féraud in the form seen him today.
It is certainly not easy to recognize through these claims dubious .and these successive transformations which were exactly the order and the importance of the Romanesque church. In any case, a text found by Ms. M.M. Viré in the municipal archives shows is still rewarded the additions at the end of the 18th century chapel. There, once more, the fervent action of the priest Laurensi. It's a price-fact past October 22, 1775 between it and two master masons, François Audibert and Gaspard Chauvin, for the sum of 300 pounds.
It was"
•    repair entirely the former Tower or shell of the sanctuary of the Church of Notre-Dame-du-Roc, up the walls at the height of what remains more high on the side of the midi and at least at the height of sixteen sections, by giving them the thickness of two sides and fixing all that remains of the old to make them solid, putting them at level all aroundfrom the corner of the South to the North, which will be formed by a side walls out of the corner of the Church and well adjusted to the wall of support, all in good masonry of plaster with good chosen stones;
•    to above a floor supported by three good beams with planks of an inch and a half at least, covered with plaster above and solid;
•    plastering all content in this part forming the sacristy of the Church and bleach brush as well as the floor, that point will be capped, but only the updates boards well United and level with plaster joints, so that all can be painted with a brush; the three beams will be yet well plastered or less well squared and blanched as the floor". "Masons also pledged:"
•    to open the two doors which give the Church...;
•    to cover the top of good tiles from recepte, supported by beams, planks and rafters that will be needed for the frame, which will begin at the level of the top of the roof of the Church and down in proportion to each side; and yet to open a door on the side of the South to enter the Hermitage and raise the roof on this side there up above and to level said Hermitage;
•    to put in a word all that part contained on the vault and to train the sacristy in State...
Given the scarcity of documentation on this Chapel, it does not seemed unnecessary to give excerpts from this text, which can help to understand the unusual appearance of the monument and its annexes.
The facade is modern and, despite repeated, recognized yet notable siding bel device fragments in the apse and walls gutter, particularly South.
This sanctuary exemplified previously by miracles was the object of a pilgrimage not only at the time of Laurensi, but in the 19th century. Thanks to the generosity of the faithful, it was equipped with important furniture, unfortunately eroded by a series of looting (particularly in 1560, 1773, 1793 and 1856). A report the Virgin by marble which reportedly was sent from Malta in 1640 by a certain Jean Antoine Guillabert and put away during the Revolution.
Not because these memories and his extraordinary situation on this strewn Acropolis ruins, Notre-Dame-du-Roc deserves a study and detailed statements, should carry out jointly with a complete exploration of the site.


Once Parish Church of Petra Castellana, she stood at the heart of the upper town, which houses étageaient North of the rock, on a little rugged part. It is also, alas, beautiful ruins. They correspond to the remains of a followed by single nave with an apse in a semi-circle (approximately length work 21 metres; width 9 m 50).
For after fat-Bourguet, who has published a plan and elevation in 1842, the nave had four span vaulted cradle and relieved by the timbers (a fragment of cord in nosing subsists at the southwest corner). The design of fat-Bourguet appears missing pilasters along the walls gutter, rather than the bases of engaged columns, type of medium used in Notre-Dame-du-Plan. Since its publication any internal facing off and collapsed in the middle of ronces, so that an audit would require clearance work. An apse covered the apse. The facings of the disappeared. The North wall is flush; the Western Wall has lost its facing outside, still intact in 1842, but offers still some foundations of the interior cladding at the level of the oculus. Only the south wall, preserved to a height of about 9 meters, delivers an impressive image of the extent and quality of the building. It is mounted in the Middle unit of a perfect size to very thin joints. It offers three beautiful bays arches (approximately 1 m 80 x 80 m) and widely window, paired with care without mouldings. They are drilled to 4 meters about height. Saint-Victor and Notre-Dame-du-plan, two doors broken arch opened on the southern flank: the main door (width 1 m 48) two roller bearings, with a naked tympanum and a large lintel based consoles panelling in Carter, and the door of the prior, smaller (w 0 m 70) at the eastern end. The walls, very thick (1 m 40), devoid of foothills appeared to be sufficient, not without courage, to the stability of the building.
Comparisons that can be done with Notre-Dame-du-Plan and Saint Victor show should not escalate it to a too old time, but to put it at the end of the 12th or early 13th century.
A vow, in any case, is necessary: that are clear and especially at the earliest consolidated these ruins deteriorating from year to year.

Conclusion of the study of the churches

Ultimately, the study of churches that remain to better glimpse of what were the reactions of the contemporaries to successive but gradual habitat displacement. It helps to qualify the story that, without them, it could make. The city took off, like wildfire, late 12th and early 13th century. At that time, there was still strongly aware links between different parts of the terroir. Utility just as the nobility of the old cells were undoubtedly powerfully felt, since it has not hesitated to rebuild almost at the same time, at great expense, in the taste of the day, the Castle and parish churches that would soon be emptied of their substance. But then there it was no forecast. This was an exceptional moment of balance between the past and the future, until the new village will definitely prevails. It is as well as, sometimes, archaeology can take corrective action to the story.
Jacques Thirion
State of the churches of Saint-Victor and Notre-Dame-du-Plan after the Protestant incursions of 1560
The damage committed by protestants in 1560 in the churches of Saint-Victor and Notre-Dame-du-Plan are known with precision thanks to the lawsuit filed by the community of Castellane against prior and Bishop of Senez for repair of these churches.
The publication verbatim report of the proceedings of this trial, departmental archives (series B, art. 711) would be too long and tedious (61 p. handwritten) for the player. Cuts had to be made.

Extracts from the minutes

Trial verbal faict by us Bertrand novel, Prévost de Glandesves Advisor of the King, our Lord, in his short of Parliament of Santy_g and Commissioner by this deppute on the provision and requeste obtained from said short by consulz and communaulte, manans, and habitans dudict cosy, Fadi and every of Sainct-Victor and Nostre-Dame du Plan out dudict cosy churches, applicants and requerantz desdictes repparations, on the one hand, against Reverend Father in God messire Jehan chew, Bishop of Senes, and Me Françoys de Bussières, priors desdictes churches, deffendeurs, else.
L'an mil five hundred sixty ung and huictiesme day of the month of August, to tired of Glandesves and the prevosture dudict place, where for the present do housing and residence, before Bertrand novel, Prévost dudict Glandesves, Advisor of roy, our Lord, in his Court of Parliament of Santy_g and Commissioner thereof in ceste partye deppute; is seroyt presented and appeared Me Balthesar Richieud cosy city as commys and having charge of the consulz and Board dudict place, to this by eulx deppute. Which we auroyt presented some requeste and letters exequutoires of commission we addressed short said, we applicant presents voulloyr recepvoir and this faict, we voulloir carry audict Castellane to nostredicte faict commission; and in these fine luy awarded letters of adjourn against Me Françoys de Bussières, prior of the churches of Saint-Victor and Nostre-Dame-du-Plan out dudict cosy, and other than it will be for and the purposes to come drawn estre by we proceeded to the said commission faict.
And dict Advisor and Commissioner recepvant nostre dictates commission with bows and honors that belong, we offertz carry audict Castellane for exequuter nostredicte commission and proceed as it will be. luy declairant to these fine deslogerons ceste city vingtungiesme day of the present month of D'Aoust, and go supper audict Castellane and logis where pend for sign the fleur de lys of gold, which have assigned can Richieud, luy awarding adjourn Bussières dudict, prior susdict, and other up to see estre by we conducted our faict dictates commissionlaxative for these our letters in CES case purposes required.
And if have to this our present minutes faict insert and mectre the requeste, letters exequutoires and nostredicte commission, the commandementz and inhibitions prognostications ausdicts sieur evesque or Annuitant, and prieur susdictz respectively, together the letters to adjourn laxees against dudict prieur with their exploict to the last of presents, and other pieces that will be cy after inserted and which respectively the content is ensuyt.

Content of our Committee requeste

At our Lords of Parliament humbly beg the consuls communaulte, manans and inhabitants of the city of cosy. As in the month of March of this year hereticques Lutherans, among other maulx than auroient faict in said city, ilz auroient destroyed all altarpieces, ymages, books, and other various things and furniture of the Church of Saint-Victor perrochielle said city and the Church of Nostre-Dame-du-Plan lez said city, as in large peyne is y peult say masses and fere the divine service needed and accoustume domesmes in said Church Saint-Victor. And how much Mr. Françoys de Bussières, prior desdictes churches, prengue audict cosy and priories thereof grandz dismes and revenues, and also the Bishop of Senes. This neantmoins did do intend reddresser lesdictz altarpieces and ymages and munyr and proveoir mesmes in the Church of Saint-Victor's books and other things necessary to the divine service, to the great escandalle of the people of said city, damage and interestz it. And considered mesmes great revenues take lesdicts prior and Bishop audict Castellane, and entretenyr and continue permanently the divine service, notwithstanding the prognostications by hereticques dictz viollances, will be the pleasure of the Court and your benign graces order estre enjoinct audict Bishop and prior of cosy to reddresser cesdictes churches, altarpieces and ymages and y prouveoyr of books and other necessary furniture for fere the divine service and presents churches do cover that does it rain inside, making doors and other necessary repparations in brief dellay, otherwise being at this constrainctz by saisiment and boasts of their income and tanporel...

Conclusion of the trial...

Two commandments concerning repairs of these churches were therefore made on 26-29 November 1560 to François de Bussières prior who lived in Marseille.Royal Sergeant of this city to pass them, gives bells of Allest, mother of the prior, "auroyt answered" the first time "than sondict filz... is in estoyt went to Aubagne and that there is in alloyt in Aix and as did was poinct in the House in the city of Marseille"; and the second: "if I eu l'aguesse sauput not my aguessia pas troubat ycy".
Two other similar commands were also made in vain to the farmer of the bishopric of Senez, then the vicar general, November 27, 1560 and March 15 of the following year.
Finally postponed to appear in Castellane mother Bertrand before August 21, 1561, François de Bussières does stood not. No longer vacant following the vicar general of Senez sede, Pierre Clari agenda, nor his sous-vicaire Etienne Martel.
It then took inventory of churches process. On file with all these acres in a single specification under cover of parchment, adds a "show cause relating to the service" of November 17, 1566, where it is no longer a question of the prior and the parish church of Saint-Victor. The feud could still last a long time.
If this long trial illustrates the challenges of maintaining the Church and residence of the Priors, however, its historical interest is elsewhere, because these problems are not unique to Castellane. Indeed, the interest lies in the detailed inventory of the furniture of the churches of Saint-Victor and Notre-Dame-du-Plan in the middle of the 16th century and the nature of the damage that there were committed by protestants in 1560. Relatively limited damage in relation to these two churches, because it is above all liturgical furniture. Without advocate Antoine de Mauvans, we must acknowledge, objectively, that it could destroy fully Notre-Dame-du-Plan which lay outside the walls of Castellane (the Church of Saint-Victor, indoors, was better preserved). But the protestants respected the building;They is took to the door they drove to enter the Church and burned furniture.
Is the poor condition of the churches found during the visit of Mre Bertrand Roman, moreover, entirely attributable to protestants? Was it not as the result of long years of neglect? Everyone knows that the roofs of churches, in particular, require ongoing maintenance. It is same furniture.
Mary Magdalene Vire

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne

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