Unique architectural constructions around the world (P.74) - Notre Dame du Haut (France) : The magnificent concrete chapel in Bourlemont hill


(WorldKings.org) Every architecture lover has probably already heard about the Cité Radieuse, an impressive vertical village in Marseille designed by Le Corbusier. But, did you know that this Franco-Swiss architect, in 1955, also built a magnificent concrete chapel? Situated on the hill of Bourlémont in Ronchamp, Bourgogne Region, this chapel is called - Notre Dame du Haut (Our Lady of the Heights). When visiting Eastern France, this most incredible place is a must-see.

In the Middle Ages, a small chapel was built above Ronchamp on the ruins of the Roman temple. This chapel was destroyed in a fire in 1913. Rebuilt between the two World Wars, it was again completely demolished in 1944. Finally, after World War II, the inhabitants of Ronchamp decided to rebuilt their chapel. This new project was entrusted to Le Corbusier, the famous architect already known as the designer of the incredible concrete housing units. The Notre Dame du Haut was built between 1954 and 1955, and it was listed as a French historical monument in 1965. In 1999, this chapel was labeled  "Patrimony of the 20th century" and since 2016, it was also classified as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Notre Dame du Haut looks like something you have probably never seen before. You will be amazed to see this chapel, which is a real architectural masterpiece. It is, at the same time, square and round, and low and high. Made of concrete and stone, it seems that its roof floats above the thick walls. In the interior of the chapel, the light comes from asymmetric wall openings. For that reason, a visitor has immediately a feeling he entered into the sacred space.

The chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut retains a multi-coloured wooden statue of the Virgin dating from the end of the 17th century. Its walls, wrapped in concrete, are built with stones from the old church. There are, however, sixteen fortified concrete pillars that carry the shell of the roof. A manifesto of modern sacred architecture, the chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut is a fine example of the material union between past and present.

In addition to the chapel, there are, on the hill, two other buildings designed by Le Corbusier: the Pilgrim Shelter (L’Abri du Pelerin) and the Chaplain’s House (La Maison du Chapelain). He also erected, on the ridge, the Pyramid of Peace, a memorial in honour of the soldiers who died for the liberation of Ronchamp in 1944.

According itinari.com and collinenotredameduhaut.com

Mihan (Collect and edit) (World Records Union - WorldKings.org)


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