Chapelle Notre-Dame du Roc

  • Prise de vue 21/06/2017  - Travaux de restauration en cours
  • Vue début du XXème siècle
  • Vue de Castellane depuis le parvis de la chapelle Notre-Dame du Roc (11/10/2016)
Verdon Tourisme > Chapelle Notre-Dame du Roc

Notre-Dame du Roc chapel has dominated Castellane and the Verdon valley since the 12th century. It can be reached from the town center via the Roc path (30-minute walk). Two orientation tables are located near the chapel.

According to historians, the Notre-Dame-du-Roc chapel dates back to the 9th or 11th century, but the oldest parts of the present chapel date back to the 12th century at the earliest. In any case, it would have been associated with Aldebert I’s castle, and would have been reserved for the use of the baron and the castle’s inhabitants, with religious services provided by a monk from the Saint-Victor abbey in Marseille. It is not known whether the church was maintained or destroyed in 1483, when King Louis XI decreed the demolition of the fortified castle. Some historians assert that the chapel was preserved and established as a benefice under the title of commende, while others hypothesize that it was destroyed.
The chapel was rebuilt in 1590, after the devastation caused by the Hugenots, who left part of the apse and almost the entire southern wall.
On January 3, 1663, the convent of the Fathers of Mercy was founded in the church of Notre-Dame-du-Roc. But by 1672, the monks were feeling too isolated to build their new home further down on the town’s ramparts. The chapel did not last more than a century, however, and fell into ruin in 1703. It was decided to rebuild it in 1775. Joseph Feraud, one of a line of well-known Castellane architects, was entrusted with the reconstruction, which mainly involved repairs to the apse, sacristy and roof.
The chapel was rebuilt once again in 1861. A project for a new bell tower, dating from 1866, seems to have come to nothing. The wall-belfry that still exists today does not have the same shape as the one shown on these drawings. Two works of art, dated 1870, suggest that the present wall-tower was built at or shortly after this date: a painting preserved inside the church showing a procession scene in which the chapel is still depicted without a steeple, and the statue of the Virgin and Child still surmounting the wall-tower. The western facade must have been altered around the same time. Two postcards, dated between 1908 and 1910, show the construction of the awning adjoining the sacristy, as well as a lean-to building, of which nothing remains today.

      • Prices

        Free entry.