Hometo doChapelle des Pénitents Blancs

Chapelle des Pénitents Blancs

Baux de Provence
04 90 54 34 39
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In the mid-17th century, a lay brotherhood of penitents had this chapel built on the Place de l'Eglise, shaded by cypress trees, on the edge of the cliff overlooking the Valley of La Fontaine. Its underground cellars contained the bodies of members of the Brotherhood. It was unearthed from the ruins in 1937 by the 'Maintenance des Confréries of Langue d'Oc'. It was then dedicated to Saint Estelle, who looks after the memory of the old Penitents of Les Baux and is patron saint of the Félibrige Association. The building is architecturally very sombre and is built of dressed stone. The monumental entrance door, adorned with rusticated stone, is surmounted by a bas-relief of two penitents, their heads covered in a hood (bourras), kneeling; above them is a chiselled Latin inscription: 'In nomine Jesu omne genus flectatur' (In the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow). The inside of the chapel, which was once vaulted with intersecting ribs, is decorated with frescoes painted in 1974 by Yves Brayer on the theme of the Nativity, representing the Christmas of the Shepherds in Provençal tradition. Above the door is a round or oculus window, surmounted by an arched bell-turret.

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