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Saint-Martin Church in Villers-Bocage

During the bombings of June 1944, Villers Bocage was nearly 90% destroyed.
The town planning and reconstruction of public buildings was entrusted to the architect Louis Le Sauter.

The first stone, taken from the ruins of the old building, was laid on March 7, 1948. It was the future Pope John XXIII, Monsignor Roncalli who came to bless this stone on June 24, 1950. The new church consecrated in 1955.

In the post-war years, the ideas conveyed by the review Sacred Art were very influential. The Dominican magazine advocates a return to authentically sacred architecture, stripped of all the superfluous and devoid of ornament. We are moving towards what the magazine calls « the purification » of churches. A distance is taken from the architecture of the past for simpler structures.
The clergy, aware of a change in mentalities, want to take advantage of the reconstruction so that the architecture meets the new religious requirements. The goal is to bring together the community of the faithful around the priest within a single space.

The architect was inspired by the Church of Sancta Maria Assunta in Torcello, located on an island near Venice. The building is made up of three buildings: the nave of the faithful, the 33-meter high campanile and the presbytery extending the chevet. The nave is a large rectangular volume without a pillar. The large stained-glass windows in colored glass slabs are the work of master glassmaker Pierrre Gaudin. The bedside is decorated with a mosaic by Jean Barillet, it represents Saint Martin, patron of the church giving half of his coat to a poor person.

The church has had the « 20th Century Heritage » label since 2004.


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Place du Maréchal Leclerc 14310 VILLERS-BOCAGE

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