The Chapel of St. Quenin (Chapelle St-Quenin) is an unusual Romanesque chapel in the Provençal town of Vaison-la-Romaine. Dating from the 12th century but long thought to be older, it has a triangular apse decorated with a carved frieze.
History of Chapelle St-Quenin
There have been Christians in Vaison since at least the late 3rd century AD (for more details, see our article on Vaison-la-Romaine Cathedral). This chapel near the old burial ground is dedicated to Saint Quenin, a bishop of Vaison (556-78) who was canonized in 1205.
What to See at Chapelle St-Quenin
The highlight of the chapel is the unusual triangular apse, which is elegantly decorated with fluted pilasters topped with Corinthian capitals. Two of them have human figures: one just a face among foliage; the other showing a man with a large knife struggling with an animal.
The top of the apse and transepts is decorated with a lovely frieze assembled from ancient Roman panels. The cornice is also in a Classical style, with an egg-and-dart pattern. It's no wonder the chapel itself was long believed to date from Roman times.
In contrast, the flat west facade is very plain. Restored in the 17th century by Bishop Jean Marie de Suares, it bears his coat of arms in a bas-relief over the door.
Quick Facts on Chapelle St-Quenin
|Names:||Chapel of St. Quenin · Chapelle St-Quenin|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||44.244319° N, 5.068624° E|
|Hours:||Unknown - was locked when we visited in June.|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Chapelle St-Quenin|
- Personal visit (June 17, 2008).
- Informational sign at the site.
- Paul Stirton, Blue Guide Provence and the Cote D'Azur, 2nd ed. (London: A&C Black Publishers Limited, 2003), 144.
- Vaison-la-Romaine - art-roman.net
- Photos of Chapelle St-Quenin - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine
Below is a location map and aerial view of Chapelle St-Quenin. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.