Châlons-en-Champagne and its surroundings has two buildings included in the UNESCO World Heritage under the name “Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France” : the church Notre-Dame-en-Vaux and the Basilica Notre-Dame de l’Epine.
Throughout the Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostela was the most important of all destinations for countless groups of pilgrims from all over Europe. To reach Spain pilgrims had to cross France.
In 1998, two buildings of Châlons and its region were registered in the UNESCO World Heritage under the name “Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France”: the church Notre-Dame-en-Vaux and the Basilica Notre-Dame de l’Epine, a village located 8km from Châlons-en-Champagne.
CHURCH NOTRE-DAME-EN VAUX
At the time, the Collegiate Church Notre-Dame-en-Vaux was a gathering point for Northern and Eastern Europeans leaving for the pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago is associated with the reconquest of Spain by Christians. Indeed, it would have appeared miraculously in 844 at the Battle of Clavijo, which allowed the victory over the Saracens.
This miracle is recalled on a stained glass window of the church Notre-Dame-en-Vaux which presents the moment when Santiago takes the head of the troops that rout the opposing army fleeing to the right (window of the battle of Santiago in the north aisle).
The church holds wonderful stained glass of the sixteenth century and a carillon of 56 bells, one of the largest in Europe.
Audio Tour available at the Tourist Office.
BASILICA NOTRE-DAME DE L’EPINE
The Church Notre-Dame-de-l’Epine, that became a basilica in 1914, originates from the devotion to a statue of the Virgin and Child, whose cult has grown to the point of making the subject one of the great pilgrimages of the northern kingdom.
Its original furnishings are very well kept and its many gargoyles, full of eloquence and diversity in its representation of vices and sins make it a star monument in the region.
1 rue de Vaux
Du lundi au samedi : 10h à 12h et 14h à 18h
Les dimanches de mai à septembre : 14h30 à 18h
Avenue du Luxembourg
03 26 66 96 98
Tous les jours de 10h à 18h (19h en haute saison)