Eglise de Notre Dame de Liesse, Annecy
This another church in the city center that we passed by and didn’t know anything about it but it was so beautifully illuminated with lights that I loved it (pic 1) which although normally looking at a neo-classical style structure in a medieval town like Annecy don’t really make much sense.
Notre Dame de Liese is a french catholic church that was built from 1846 to 1851 replacing a marist sanctuary from 13th century when Count Amadeus III of Geneva intended to create a necropolis for his family but the church followed the fate of many other churches during the French Revolution and demolished. They kept the old 16th century clock tower (that the spot where more lights head anyway) although some other sources (eg.wikipedia) claim it’s from 14th century.
Once inside I was surprised to see only one other visitor so I had all the time I needed to check in peace some details, not that there are many things to see because the decoration is plane and simple, so we checked the main altar (1854) but also the side altars that are dedicated to St Francois de Sales and to the Rosary. Some last photos and we were ready to leave Annecy.
Last photo (pic 4) was a bit funny as the figure that stands on the left seems to celebrate that Jesus cant get up because of the cross weight!
I was a bit confused by the story of this church. Apparently it was originally founded in the 14th century by Count Amadeus of Geneva who intended to create a necropolis for his family here.
The present church incorporates elements of the original structure but was finalized in 1846.
It was named for the Notre Dame de Liesse, also known as Our Lady of Joy. The story goes that Three knights imprisoned in Egypt found or received a statue which they named Our Lady of Joy. The Sultans Daughter was converted . The statue is housed at the pilgrimage site in Picardy.
What I found interesting with this church was really its simplicity. Anyone who has visited churches in France can tell you just how ornate the churches can be with multitudes of intricate sculptings, huge paintings and tinted windows. This church has some of all of those, but in a refreshing show of moderation.
The Eglise de Notre Dame de Liess in Annecy was built on the site of a former Marist Sancutary which in turn was built in the 13th century. The present church was five years in the making under the direction of one Francois Justin, an engineer employed by the the Sardinian administration. He was renowned to be an expert in neo-classical design.
There were conditions however, which governed Justin's design. The clock tower and one beautiful gothic window were to be preserved in memory of the original sanctuary.
The church is easily recognised by the beautiful gold statue of Mary on the roof.
This church was demolished during the Revolution, and was subsequently rebuilt in the neo-classical style in 1850. The interior features stained glass windows, ceiling paintings and a high altar with several sculptures. I was particularly impressed by the dome in atop the nave, which features several frescos and a little window that lets sunlight for a nice effect. There is also an obelisk fountain supported by turtles: the water cascades from the mouths of monumental lions into an octagonal basin set in a monolith of granite.
Bottom-line: If you're in the area, worth a quick visit
This collegiate church has a beautiful Romanic bell tower built in the 16th century.
The church was founded in 1360 over a previous oratory of the 12th century and was famous for its grand pardons, which attracted many pilgrims every seven years.
It hosted the Holy Shroud (now in Torino, Italia) in 1566.
It was destroyed by the French Revolution and rebuilt, differently, in 1845, the date of the present façade.