The Church of St Alban des Villards is located in the Chef-Lieu.
There are 3 chapels in the town, one at 1er Villard, the Chapel of the Vaults accessible by a path and a chapel at Bessay.
The church of Saint-Alban-des-Villards

The 1,500 inhabitants of the early 19th century explain the dimensions of the church, consecrated in 1834 and dedicated to Saint Alban, the first Irish martyr, whose fresco effigy adorns the facade. Sardinian neoclassical style, it houses in its bell tower one of the largest bells in Maurienne (912 kg).

Considering the current population of Saint-Alban-des-Villard, its church seems very large! But it must be said that before the demographic decline which hit the town hard, since the middle of the 19th century, it had up to 1,700 inhabitants. Rebuilt in 1829-1830 according to the plans of the architect François Justin, it is in the neoclassical style. The very wide central nave is surmounted by cross vaults. The facade is decorated with two double pilasters framing a fresco representing Saint Alban on horseback. But why dedicate a parish to an English saint? It is easy to think that pilgrims going to Rome or the Holy Land brought this cult to the Maurienne, but it is possible that this responds to a deliberate intention. Alban was a Roman soldier who lived in the 3rd or 4th century at Verulamium, now St. Albans, county of Hertfordshire. Although a pagan, he would have saved a priest from persecution by hiding him. Converted, baptized, he would then have put on the clothes of the priest and would have suffered martyrdom in his place. It is indeed as a Roman soldier that the saint is presented on the pediment of the church. To understand its importance, we must go back to the middle of the 5th century when the Burgundians settled in Savoy. They are above all warriors, who get along fairly well with the old Roman aristocracy (from which most bishops come) who rely on them. But the Burgundians are Arians. According to the doctrine of Arius, Christ cannot be equal to the Father, as Catholics have affirmed since the Council of Nicaea (325). Giving the Burgundian kings models of military and Nicene saints like Saint Maurice, Saint Martin or Saint Alban would therefore be a way for the Church to combat heresy. The church is in any case interesting and its bell tower, the base of which remains from an older building, has four bells, one of which, "Thérèse" weighs 912kg. A record for a modest mountain parish! - Text by Pierre Dompnier -

Visit of the Church on request from the Town Hall of St Alban des Villards.
Phone : +33 4 79 56 24 53
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  • Spoken language(s) :
    • French
In Short
  • Type of culturel patrimony :
    • Historic site and monument
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Eglise de St Alban des Villards
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 45.309872
Longitude : 6.249295
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