Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine

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

Site Information
Names:Chapel of St. Quenin · Chapelle St-Quenin
Dedication: St. Quenin
Dates:13th C
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:44.244319° N, 5.068624° E
Address:Avenue Saint-Quenin
Vaison-la-Romaine, France
Hours:Unknown - was locked when we visited in June.
Lodging:View hotels near Chapelle St-Quenin
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Personal visit (June 17, 2008).
  2. Informational sign at the site.
  3. Paul Stirton, Blue Guide Provence and the Cote D'Azur, 2nd ed. (London: A&C Black Publishers Limited, 2003), 144.
  4. Vaison-la-Romaine -

More Information

West facade of the Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine. © Holly Hayes
North transept of the chapel. © Holly Hayes
The unusual triangular apse of St-Quenin. © Holly Hayes
Sculpture on the corner of the south transept. © Holly Hayes
Corinthian capital with human mask on the apse. © Holly Hayes
Carved capital on the apse, depicting on a struggle. © Holly Hayes

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.