Historic site and monument

Church of St. Martin

Chamoux sur Gelon

About us

2 very distinct eras, and 2 subjects of astonishment:
The bell tower is Romanesque (Middle Ages) except the top “floor” (18th century).

Turning around, you can clearly see its 2 levels of openings (some mouths), a narrow and high mouth opening, “fishbone” stone beds, small columns (very damaged with their capitals to the south and north) .
The bell tower does not seem to have been “brought down” during the Revolution.

The church is Baroque (17th-18th century period): flat apse, triple windows, etc.). It is due to Jacques Chiesaz, a mason from Valsesia (Piedmont) based in the village: started in 1696, it was completed, and paid for in 1699.
It was unfortunately defaced following the fall of a stone in the choir (the painted vault was demolished) in the 1930s, and decrepit, which does not suit its style.

We go down to the church. Indeed, an earth avalanche at the end of the Middle Ages (?) ruined the Romanesque Priory to which the church belonged, and raised the ground level. But at the time, the entrance to the Romanesque church was to the north, on the valley side. In 1696, it was rebuilt and “returned”; problem: with the entrance to the south, rainwater often rushed into the nave!

In the XNUMXth century, the creation of the road further raised the level of the roadway.

Another subject of curiosity: the statues.
In fact, we see in old photos that the plastered facade showed a decoration of false stucco pilasters, on a plastered surface. No statues – but the ghost of their niches could be seen in rainy weather.
Then the facade was “cleaned”, the statues reappeared… Finally… 2 out of 3: we don’t know who lived on the left.
In the middle, St. Martin, the patron saint of the church, in his bishop's outfit.
On the right, François de Sales (the head is disproportionate, but we know... that the bishop of Annecy had a big head).
Their swaying postures invite you to see baroque statues (period 17-18th century) – due to Jacques Chiesaz?
Why were they walled up for a long time? We see that their arms have been “planed”, so as not to protrude. Did she displease?
Or did the Chamoyards find this way to shield them from revolutionary anger, after having tried in vain to dismantle that of the left? (they have obviously been “modeled” in place). Mystery!

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Contact & Access

Church Square
73390 Chamoux-sur-Gelon