June 18, 2013

The Monastery and Basilica of the Visitation in Annecy

One of the most notable landmarks in Annecy is the Monastery and Basilica of the Visitation, which stands high on a hill and overlooks the town. (A Visitation Church honors the visit of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mother.)

It may look like quite a walk, but I was able to get there in under 30 minutes from my hotel.

The Visitation Order in Annecy was founded in 1610 by saints François de Sales and Jeanne de Chantal, and this Basilica was built to commemorate them.

Construction began in 1909 and was completed around 1930. The Vistation nuns have lived in the monastery since 1911. The Basilica was officially consecrated in 1949.

I visited around 9:00 am on a Saturday morning, and was rewarded by the beautiful sound of the Basilica's 36 bells.

The architect Alfred-Henri Recoura constructed the church in a Neo Romanesque-inspired style. 

I was the only person inside, which allowed me to take photos without feeling horrible.

The mosaic is by Antoine Molkenber. The bronze caskets of the two saints are on display at the front.

The stained glass windows were designed by Charles Plessard and the glassmaker Francis Chigot. It depicts the lives of the two patron saints of the building church.

You can see that there are quotes in stained glass at the bottom.

Facing back towards the main door.

A non-working faucet and basin.

The souvenir shop was not yet open, so I couldn't ask what these slabs of brick were for.

All in all, a visit well worth making.

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