A monastery existed here in the 10th c. The abbatial St. Saulve church dates from the 12th c. and showed a characteristic plan of the pilgrimage churches with a choir with ambulatory and radiating chapels.
The church had to be rebuilt after an earthquake in 1467 and was burned down during the siege of 1537 and lost his choir, transept and the floor with the upper windows.
All this explains that the abbatial Saint-Saulve shows a rather odd architectural look especially seen from aside. Seen from the front the massive tower, last vestige from the 12th c., shows more homogeneity. The great door with the sculptures is from the 15th c.
Inside I much liked the intricate forms of the vaults. They were lightened on the contrary of the remaining part of the church left in the darkness.
A castle from the 13th c. was standing here facing the estuary of the river Canche. The town entrance towers remained but the citadel was built in 1567 in the form of a bastioned fort. The citadel can be visited.
Spectacular is to descend by a path in the dry moat and make the tour of the citadel dominating with the 40 m high walls.
Open: 10 - 12h & 14 - 17 or 18h. Closed on Tuesday.
Price: 4€, reduced 2€.
The ramparts "à la Vauban" dominate with their 40 m height the surrounding country offering nice perspectives on a green landscape around Montreuil and also on the streets and buildings of the town. Trees grow on the ramparts that have no parapet. The promenade (3 Km) on the ramparts is quite agreeable.
The first walls were built in the 9th c. What you see now is from the 16th c. by Vauban. There are a number of towers and bastions. There is a large open gateway on the south called Porte de France and a more typical one on the north called Porte de Boulogne and that's all to enter Montreuil.
Hôtel-Dieu was founded by Gauthier de Montreuil at the beginning of the 13th century. It was dedicated to Saint Nicolas, patron of the afflicted. After the original chapel collapsed in 1467 (as well as the other churches in Montreuil), the sanctuary was built again and consecrated in 1475.
The story of this sanctuary was very troubled: it was first pillaged in 1537 when the Spaniards sacked Montreuil; then, during the French revolution, the statues of the portal were destroyed.
The hospice was rebuilt under Napoleon 3rd and opened in 1857. The chapel was also rebuilt from 1871 to 1874. The author of the reconstruction was Clovis Normand, a disciple of famous architect Viollet-le-Duc.
In these photos you see the chapel with its tower, the portal and two statues that have survived the French revolution.
The church owns a small treasure consisting of reliquaries in different shapes and a beautiful mostrance with the faces of all the Apostles (you can see it in the second and third photos).
Furthermore, you can see a painting that depicts Saint John, the Virgin with Jesus together with Her sister Elizabeth and her son, Saint John the Baptist. Unfortunately, the light of the flash has spoilt the beauty of the painting, but the photo without flash was monocolour. The last picture shows an altar with sculptures; there is a shrine with a statue at each side of the altar.
The church has a certain number of sculptures and bas-reliefs.
The first photo shows the ambo and the second a detail of it with bas-reliefs about the life of Jesus. The sculptured plates in the third picture feature some Stations of the Cross. The fourth image shows a statue of Jesus Christ and the last one, an ancient Cross.
Being a Romanesque church, Saint-Saulve has thick walls and columns, and small windows. Furthermore it is little illuminated, so it was difficult to take good pictures.
The photos in this tip give you a general idea of what the interior of the church looks like.
The Saint-Saulve abbey church was first built in the 12th century where a 10th-century monastery dedicated to Saint Walloy lied earlier.
The church was rebuilt after a natural catastrophe happened in 1467 but was set on fire during the 1537 siege, led jointly by England and Spain; the choir and the transept were destroyed.
The only part of the 12th-century building that has survived until today is the façade with its tower. The beautiful sculptured portal was made after 1467. You can see some details of the sculptures in the third and fourth photos.
This elegant building houses the town hall of the Montreuil municipality. As you can see, it is full of flowers at every window and on the meadow in front of it (read the Local customs tip about flowers).
You cannot miss the mairie, since it is lies in the same square as two important churches of the village.