Church of Saint Pierre aux liens - Villarembert
Visit the beautiful church of Villarembert, just 3.5km from the Corbier resort.
The presence of a church in Villarembert is mentioned in village documents as far back as the 8th century. It stood almost opposite the bread oven, where a cross still stands today.
In 1664, a new church was built on the present site, reflecting the Baroque style that had emerged in Savoy in the 16th century, the result of a meeting between the new directions of the Romanesque church and an artistic movement stemming from the Renaissance. At the end of the 15th century, the popes saw in the art that was developing a means of expressing the triumph of the Catholic Church over the Protestant reformation following the Council held in Trento, Italy, from 1545 to 1563. Artists, for their part, realised that the Catholic Church offered them an opportunity to free themselves from the models of the past and give free rein to their imagination, thus affirming what the Protestants were denying: to reincarnate and magnify the faith, to touch the hearts of the faithful, to move and stimulate the soul and the senses: paintings and statues proliferated, using the splendour of marble, gilding and colour.
The architecture, furniture and paintings had to evoke a strong sense of beauty; This art boldly resorted to a host of sophisticated techniques, using curves, counter-curves, trompe l'oeil, theatrical devices, gilding, polychromy, stucco vault decorations, monumental altarpieces made from cembro pine, a wood that is very soft for sculpture but very resistant to age, and altarpieces decorated with gold leaf, which is 20 times thinner than a cigarette leaf. The cost of a Baroque church was around 4,000 florins; to get an idea of what this sum represented for a village, you need to know that a cow cost 40 florins. As for the altarpiece, which is the part that vertically surmounts the altar, it was worth as much as the whole church.
However, in 1880, the church was demolished following a visit by Monsignor Rosset, who found it to be in an advanced state of disrepair and inadequate for the population of 458. All that remained of the old church was the sacristy and the bell tower, which was lowered during the Revolution.
The new church was finally built 4 years later, in SEPTEMBER 1884, following enormous financial worries, as the commune's budget at the time was 5,000 francs a year and the church cost 32,000 francs, with a state subsidy of 5,000 francs.
The high altar, the work of the Italian sculptor Minoja, was exhibited at the national exhibition in Turin in 1884.
The church is dedicated to Saint Peter in the Bindings, a reference to the episode recounted in chapter 12 of the Acts of the Apostles, when Peter is in a prison in Jerusalem and an angel comes to free him and release his bonds. Believing he had been dreaming, he was then able to return to his friends.
Every day throughout the year
Opening hours on Monday and Wednesday between 8.30 am and 12 pm and between 2 pm and 5 pm. On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday between 8.30 am and 12 pm.
Closed Saturday and Sunday.
Closed exceptionally on January 1st, Easter Monday, Feast of the Ascension, Whit Monday, May 1st, May 8th, July 14th, August 15th, November 1st, November 11th and December 25th.