Saturday, December 21, 2013

Notre Dame de Consolation Chapel, a tiny, tall church in Pierrelongue

After finishing lunch one Saturday, I headed out in my car to explore an area of the Drôme Provençale not too far from Sablet, the small Medieval village we call home in Provence.

The road wound its way along the Ouvèze river and before long, I came upon a church perched on a very tall rock I had never seen before. Come to find out, the church is called Notre Dame de Consolation and overlooks Pierrelongue, a tiny village (174 residents) in Drôme Provençale.

Notre Dame de Consolation Chapel

Pierrelongue, its name, literally means "long rock", comes from the rock on which the castle that originally stood in the village was built. Destroyed in 1789 during the French revolution, it was eventually replaced by this church.

Conceived in 1864 by Abbot Jules Joseph Pascaly, work finally began in 1900 and lasted 5 years. Modeled after the basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes, it consists of a monumental stairway that encircles the rock, a crypt, and the Chapel of Our Lady of Consolation with a nave that measures just 800 square feet.

Notre Dame de Consolation Chapel

The Abbot's tomb is in the crypt and has become a tiny religious art museum where religious ornaments can be seen. On the front of the church (see first picture), is a statute of the Virgin Mary, a gift of the Duchess of Uzès in 1907.

Notre Dame de Consolation Chapel

The Abbot Jules Joseph Pascaly was obviously a smart man and figured out that parishioners would receive both physical and spiritual blessings from attendance at church on Sunday. By the time you've walked up the steps around the chapel, you are ready for a reprieve and chance to reflect on your life. There are also great views over Pierrelongue and the surrounding Drôme Provençale countryside.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. Have a great weekend. Chat soon.


  1. What a lovely story - I have never been there but will go asap.
    Wishing you and Shirley and all the family and very happy, funfilled Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year - hope to see you both again in 2014!

  2. Seriously breath taking!! Enjoy your holidays, too.

    the worldling blog