This blog is intended to be a guide to the Church of Notre Dame de Pitie in Le Croisic, where the Hertfordshire Chamber Ensemble played an evening concert on Tuesday 23 July 2013. You can read more about that concert here.
Notre Dame de Pitie is a stunning Catholic church orientated to the east and dating from the end of the 15th century, built of granite with limestone vaulting and in the Flamboyant Gothic Style. The building is almost square, with four aisles and 16 large windows. The stained glass is mostly from the 19th century, although the glass in the principal window is modern in design and age, being from 1967.
If you start from the entrance to the church, under the organ,
and walk in an anti-clockwise direction from corner to corner then you will first encounter a stained glass window of St Felix, the bishop of Nantes in the 6th century who came to Le Croisic to baptise the first Christians of the peninsula.
Interestingly, he did this on the site of the present Chapelle du Crucifix, which is where the Hertfordshire Chamber Ensemble performed Pierre et le Loup on the following Friday. Here is also an octagonal font, a painting by Elie Delaunay, and a painting by L Desjardin.
Moving down to the next corner we find the altar of the rosary.
This comes from the former Chapel of the Franciscans, where it was installed in 1788. The vaulting is one of six vault paintings in the church, dates from the 16th century and shows the Holy Trinity.
There are two ships suspended above the main altar
and these are 19th century thank-offerings, and there are also two processional banners, one either side. On the other side is a stained glass window of St Goustan, a 10th century monk who came to preach the Gospel to the population of Le Croisic.
There is the statue of Our Lady of Pity, Mary full of pity and compassion for all those in distress.
The pulpit was made by a cabinetmaker from Le Croisic, and an angel blowing a trumpet surmounts the sounding board above the pulpit.
At the back of the church is a stained glass window of St Peter, the patron saint of fishermen, representing the calming of the storm, and another of St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers.
This is a truly magnificent church and it is full of hidden treasures, so well worth a visit. There are guided tours on Tuesdays and Fridays in July and August at 1100.
You can see more of my photos of the church here.