Héricourt (Doubs)

In 1563, this old Catholic church became a Lutheran temple.

A church created in the 12th century...

  • Héricourt (Doubs), the temple © Bretegnier

The city of Héricourt had one of the oldest churches in the area, and more particularly in the Pays de Montbéliard.

The portal-bell tower was built in the 12th-13th centuries. Multi-coloured varnished tiles covered the dome shaped Franche-Comté roof. The wooden nave was built in the 15th century.

The two side chapels were created in 1525 and in 1545 by two Héricourt commoners: Jean Pouisard and Jean Perdrix.

...and constantly modified

  • Interior of the temple Héricourt (Doubs) © Bretegnier

The choir, in late gothic style was built between 1524 and 1530. It was accessible through a side door with, over it, the blazon of the Fürstenbergs, then lords of Héricourt.

The edifice was attributed to the Lutherans in 1563. The simultaneum imposed by Louis XIV in 1700 lasted until 1887. The council of elders had the inside “renovated” at the expense of some architectural details that were to be restored between 1950 and 1954.

Wonderful stained-glass windows

  • Jean-Pierre Brétegnier, the Lamb, stained glass window, Héricourt, 20th century © Brétegnier

In 1887 stained-glass windows featuring foliage similar to those in the Blue Mosk in Istanbul were likewise placed. Three of the windows were destroyed in 1944 during Liberation fighting. They were replaced with stained-glass illustrating the Book of Revelation in the side chapels and the Book of Proverbs in the choir.

In the choir is a remarkable painting by the Italian mannerist painter Ludovico da Cigoli (1559-1613), depicting the scourging of Christ, and given by a Héricourt.

The organ-loft built in 1923 was inaugurated by Albert Schweitzer.

The edifice is listed in the supplementary inventory of historical monuments.

Héricourt (Doubs)

Bibliography

  • Books
    • DEBARD Jean-Marc, La vieille église d’Héricourt, Imprimerie Metthez, Montbéliard, 1999
    • DUBIEF Henri et POUJOL Jacques, La France protestante, Histoire et Lieux de mémoire, Max Chaleil éditeur, Montpellier, 1992, rééd. 2006, p. 450
    • LAURENT René, Promenade à travers les temples de France, Les Presses du Languedoc, Millau, 1996, p. 520
    • REYMOND Bernard, L’architecture religieuse des protestants, Labor et Fides, Genève, 1996

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