The Oratory Chapel of Saint-Jacques
Come visit the chapel of the chateau on the first floor of the Domaine du Parc Chapel History
In medieval times, feudal lords always built a chapel in their own castle, in order to live their faith and maintain complete harmony with the clergy. Unfortunately, the original chapel located in the lower portion of the château was destroyed by a fire in 1728. When the Trèves family purchased the château in March 2002, they decided to rebuild an oratory in the arched room of the Guards’ Tower, originally erected in the 16th century to complete the defensive structure protecting the home of the Counts of Challes. The renovation work was launched in 2004 and completed on May 30, 2005.
A place of peace
The oratory is composed of two portions, with a small corridor opening onto a niche on the left, replacing the former stairway of the old tower. Here one finds a magnificent Trilogy by Samuel Maréchal representing two pilgrims crossing paths along the Way of St. James. The younger is on his way to St James of Compostela, and the older pilgrim is returning from the apostle’s tomb. This memorable encounter takes place under the protection of an angel. On the right, an ancient window with entwined bars opens up to the “outside”. When entering the main oratory, visitors are struck by the fresco painted by Gérard Mayel and his student Cédric, portraying the Way of St. James under the canopy of heaven featuring the Milky Way. In another niche, one can admire a magnificent portrayal of the pilgrim St. Roch, the patron saint of the sick. Across from him, a superb virgin from Le Puy opens her hand in a sign of welcome and peace. The stained glass windows illuminate two very handsome original coats of arms of the families who lived in the Château: the Counts of Challes from 1450 to 1590, and the Millet family from 1592 to 1792. The stained glass windows themselves represent coats of arms that are believed to be either those of other friendly families, or perhaps of conquests of the Counts of Challes. The work to the left of St. Roch illustrates the four main European routes of the Way of St. James in 1648 (through Tours, Vézelay, Le Puy and Arles), passing through all of Europe to reach the tip of Spain at Cape Finisterre.
A place for contemplation
This spiritual building is open to all those seeking a moment of meditation in a world of perpetual movement. We invite you to appreciate it in comforting silence. Coat of arms of the Counts of Challes, who inhabited the Château from 1450 to 1590. Coat of arms of the Millet family, who occupied the Château from 1592 to 1792.