Royan, Notre Dame church dominates
Notre Dame church dominates
the town. Its silhouette can be seen from a distance, either
when arriving by road from Saintes or when leaving by the
Royan-Le Verdon ferry.
It was built between 1955 and 1958, facing the east, in the same
district as the original church which was destroyed by the
bombing during the second world war.
With its impressive dimensions and its astounding architecture,
it is often described as a cathedral. The spire of the belfry is
60 metres high, the same height as the Notre-Dame de Paris
The nave is made of rough concrete, built without an internal
pillar, in the shape of an ellipse, 80 metres long and 45 metres
wide. It is 36 metres high at either end of the parabolic vault
and 28 metres high in the centre.
The architecture takes into account the slope of the ground with
the main entrance situated on the highest part of the slope.
From the top of the stairs, which descend into the nave, one can
appreciate the dimensions of the building. The beauty of the
stained glass window behind the altar is enhanced by the light
which penetrates from the stained glass windows at the side,
giving a soft light and an impression of peace appropriate for
The big organ
The organ was set up in 1964. It is
considered by organists and music lovers to be an exceptional
instrument. It is the first large one to be built since the 18th
Century, measuring sixteen feet in height and being made of
Concerts are regularly held throughout the season. In July 2001,
the participation of the organ, aided by the use of technology
in the concert "Violin on the Sand", made the organ widely
If you would like to have more
detailed information about this organ and see an excellent
photograph, please visit
The use of concrete
allowed rapid construction of the church and daring architecture
to be used but unfortunately, this material ages rather badly
and because of this, there are now a renovation
of the building.