Chapelle Saint-Thyrse

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Verdon Tourisme > Chapelle Saint-Thyrse
Temporarily closed

Located in the hamlet of Robion, the Saint-Thyrse chapel is an exceptional building, dating back to the 10th century.
It is no longer accessible to the public as it is undergoing restoration, but remains visible from the parking lot.

The Saint-Thyrse chapel is the former parish church of the now-defunct commune of Robion, merged with the commune of Castellane in 1973.
The building is isolated, far from the village, with the cemetery enclosure still nestling against its chevet. An ancient cemetery already stood nearby. Not far from here ran the old road, of Roman origin, as attested by the discovery of coins at the “Col de Robion”, which led from Castellane to Comps.
The church belonged to the diocese of Senez. Sainte-Thyrse is celebrated, as in Sisteron, on January 28. It is therefore believed to be Saint-Thyrse de Bithynie.

A charter from the Abbey of Cluny mentions a church of Saint-Thyrse donated in 909 to a villa, with various outbuildings. It is mentioned for the first time in a decime account from the early 14th century. It is mentioned again in 1376. However, we have no further information on the church until the 17th century.

In 1697, Mgr Soanen found the church in extremely poor condition: “in the presbytery” (choir), a window was “wide open and the church roof (vault) broken and in some places stripped”. He ordered that a door be built at the entrance to the bell tower, that the staircase be repaired, that the roof be restored and that the walls be repaired “to prevent the church from falling into ruin… because the walls are missing”.

By July 1703, the work was underway, and Soanen found the church “quite embarrassed by the massons who were repairing it on all sides”. He ordered “the inhabitants… to repair their steeple, which is in great need of repair and which has been badly forgotten in their price-fact”. In 1722, the bell tower was finally repaired and fitted with two bells.

In the mid-18th century, Mgr de Vocance transferred parish services to a new church dedicated to Notre-Dame. In 1788, the bishop noted that the nave of Saint-Thyrse “is well whitewashed and the vault… made of wood”.

During the 19th century, the village was completely abandoned. Saint-Thyrse church, summarily consolidated in 1942 by Abbé Garnier with the help of the Compagnons de France, was listed as a Monument Historique on April 12, 1944. It was restored in 1979 under the direction of Dominique Ronsseray, chief architect.


Infiltration problems in the masonry were discovered before 1990. In 2009, 2011 and 2015, emergency work was carried out to maintain the building. The Saint-Thyrse chapel is now closed to the public and surrounded by a security perimeter. Following a geological and archaeological study and a diagnosis of the building, a highly ambitious restoration project is underway, led by the Castellane town council.

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    Free entry.