On the West side of the church there is an outside pulpit. On the south side there is some shrubbery while on the west side is the nave area of the church but it is difficult to make it all correspond to a conventional church. For instance we think there is a Gargoyle (?) at the top of the South side.
Standing before the church of Notre-Dame-du-Ronchamp, one has to agree that this building is unlike any church that one has ever see before. The chapel was built between 1953 and 1955. Many fanciful descriptions have been given in books on art and architecture, but we think the best one that have seen is that it looks like an "Ear", representing the concept of "The Word", hence the Bells out back.
This wonderfully modern chapel is the reason to visit Ronchamp. The outside of the building is stunning, having been compared to a nun's cap. The inside is dark and warm with light streaming down through the silo-like structures on the sides.
Just the walk up the path through the trees prepares you for the experience you are about to have. It is mountainous and green and suddenly the cap of the church appears through the trees!
The chapel is open to the public. Opening hours are 9.30 am to 6.30 pm from April to September, and 10 am to 4 pm. Major pilgrimage services are on 15 August and 8 September.
We followed directions I had copied off the web to a Logis de France, the Hôtel Carrer’s restaurant Le Rhien, about four km. northeast of Ronchamp ( 15 min. from GR 59 for hikers) and well signposted. It was well worth the diversion. We ordered the menu du jour. Ed ordered crudité and I the hot brie salad as a starter. They were both excellent and we had enough to share and still couldn’t finish. We both ordered rabbit as the meal and it arrived in gravy with mashed potatoes and green beans . . . everything cooked to perfection including rabbit falling off the bone! We both got chocolate mousse for dessert and received huge portions of fluffy dark chocolate mousse that was so good we managed to finish it. The bathrooms were absolutely elegant and the staff very friendly. Another “find.”
Favorite Dish: The first time we were there was a Thursday and they had a "special" that we got (see above) that was excellent and inexpensive. The second time we visited was on a Saturday and the prices had gone up considerably; the service was not nearly so good and the food was not as good either. I highly recommend you go during the week when the locals are there for the special which is excellent.
This is not a gourmet place. It is a nice local restaurant with very good local cooking.