ID: Secanda 22.1 (2022-04-30)
Version: 1a (2022-04-30)
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The St-Étienne chapel is located in the middle of a cemetery adjoining a much larger modern neo-Gothic church, which overwhelms it with its mass. The location, small size and modest, almost insignificant appearance of this chapel make it hardly noticeable.
However as soon as you get close enough to this humble building, everything changes and the observer's eyes widen!
Indeed, one can then observe some very old masonry, which is characteristic of Roman masonry (layers of calibrated square rubbles alternating with layers of flat bricks). Caution: "Roman" masonry does not necessarily mean masonry from the Imperial Roman period. Given the presence of a Paleo-Christian church (known from excavations) a few dozen metres away and the rather raw implementation of these old masonries, this building probably dates back to the very end of the Empire (Late Antiquity) or to the very beginning of the Early Middle Ages. Its precise dating is difficult, just as it is difficult to know whether it was initially a cult building or not.
As with all such ancient buildings, the centuries that followed left their mark... All openings are modern additions. The south-east wall is heavily altered (but reuses ancient materials). The façade is badly mutilated by a neo-classical portal and two buttresses. Only the north-west wall and part of the flat chevet have retained their almost intact antique appearance.
St-Étienne chapel is listed in the Monuments Historiques (Historical French Heritage) since 1984.
License: common law (copyright) | Author: Secanda
Free use for private purposes. Any commercial use is prohibited.