LET'S GIVE IT BACK THE FULLNESS OF A BEATING HEART !

The monumental ensemble presents a particular aspect that gives the project exceptional interest: the different parts of this church are of different origins. The body of the church dates from the 13th century, on an earlier, certainly Carolingian, base; 11th-century Romanesque apsidioles adjoin the south transept; The bell tower dates from the 16th century; In other words, this “catalog of architecture”, testimonies to numerous ancient eras, is a remarkable symbol of the organic assimilation of the past, and of harmony in diversity;

Today, the church is deprived of its two transepts, like a Latin cross (†) deprived of its two arms; Not that they don’t exist, but they are separated from the church by solid walls; One of them, the south transept, is “open to the sky”; At its far end, the unfinished bell tower requires restoration and protection against infiltration; The project concerns the church, south transept and bell tower;

For 5 years, the teams’ daily routine will be made up of good and bad discoveries, difficulties and complexities that will have to be overcome, as the work progresses.

The central project is the great uplift of the church; It’s the most complex and the most expensive. It extends, in 3 stages, over the entire 5 years of the project.

THE PROJECT IN 3 STEPS

Restoring the bell tower 2018 – MAY 2021

 

In the 16th century, Philippe de Lévis, the new Abbot of Lagrasse, added a monumental bell tower to the existing church at the end of the south transept, a replica of the bell tower at Mirepoix Cathedral, the abbot’s home town; Topped by a spire, the building was to reach a height of 80 m; The 40 m spire was never built.

This project, long delayed by the covid crisis, involved several phases:

  • Waterproofing the bell tower ridge
  • Restore the intermediate floors
  • Restore gargoyles, sculptures, pinnacles…

Budget: €1.8 million

The south transept 2023 – 2026

 

The south transept joins the main body of the church to the bell tower; After suffering the ravages of time and the blows of men, it is now collapsed and open to the elements; Only a semicircular arch remains; The opening to the church is blocked; The church is amputated;

The aim is to restore the transept vault using restored arches, recreate the roof structure and roofing according to architectural studies, and reopen the transept to the church;

This exceptional 3-year project includes several points :

  • Demolition of recent parts (plaster vaults, roofs, partitions, etc.)
  • Carry out archaeological digs
  • Open the transept onto the nave;
  • Restore the transept vaults;
  • Re-create the framework and roof

Budget: €2.8 million;

Restoring the central body of the church 2024 – 2026

 

The church itself, dating from the 13th century, will be restored from floor to roof; This work, which complements that on the transept, will enable us to welcome the growing number of visitors and offer them a place of worship and prayer;

This 2-year project includes the following points:

  • Removing and restoring stained glass
  • Restoring the roof structure and roofing
  • Restore the masonry of the infill
  • Fitting out the interiors: sanctuary furniture, electricity, underfloor heating

Budget: €2 million