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Churchtrail in Aire-sur-Lys

On foot

-2.00 km

-1 h

Churchtrail in Aire-sur-Lys

Aire-sur-la-Lys is a city of strong history, strategically located between Flanders and Artois. It is within this framework that the collegiate church of Saint-Pierre is located.

  1. Aire-sur-la-Lys : Collegiate church Saint-Pierre

    Aire-sur-la-Lys is a city of strong history, strategically located between Flanders and Artois. It is within this framework that the collegiate church of Saint-Pierre is located. Originally, Aire was a small village built by Count Baudoin II of Flanders around 900. Its economic development gradually made it an important city, where in 1059, a chapter of canons was established and a collegiate church was gradually built. In 1166, the Count of Flanders Thierry d'Alsace seized the skull of Saint-Jacques, which belonged to the abbey of Saint-Vaast d'Arras and brought the relic to Aire. His package discredits the city and the relic is cut in half, in order to return part of it to Arras and to keep one in Aire-sur-la-Lys. Unfortunately, the church, too weak and too old, had to be destroyed in the 15th century. Throughout the 16th century, a new collegiate church was rebuilt, in the style then in vogue in the flamboyant Gothic style. But unfortunate events led to its frequent restoration; the tower collapsed in 1624, the siege of Aire in 1710 totally destroyed the church, which was rebuilt in "the same way" in the process. However, there are a few elements that make it possible to observe this late reconstruction, in particular the semi-enclosed pilasters in the facade of the tower. Finally, the chevet of the building was destroyed by the fall of a bomb during the night of August 4, 1944.

  2. Aire-sur-la-Lys: The Saint-Jacques chapel

    The Saint-Jacques chapel, a very large building -58 m. long, 15 m. wide and 21 m. high under the vault - was built in 1682. It is the remains of the city's former Jesuit college, which operated between 1615 and 1762 and now houses the Institution Sainte-Marie. The building is representative of the Baroque art favoured by the Jesuit Order, initiated by Saint Ignatius of Loyola. The facade is wide and the interior of the building, with the exception of the immense glory that dates back to 1858, is very simple compared to the Gothic churches of the late Middle Ages. It was important for the Jesuits, as well as for all religious orders of the time, to concentrate as much as possible the attention of the faithful on the prayer and office of the celebrant. Eyes and attention should not be drawn to elements of distraction, except for the majesty of the office and Christ. Hence the stripping of the premises. The clarity that reigns there symbolizes the frenetic search for the light, spiritual and divine, significant of the time. The chapel was built at the dawn of the Enlightenment and this theme also influenced the men of the Church of the time.



Church buildings on the route

Saint-Pierre

Saint-Pierre

62120
12km

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