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  4. Chapelle St-Quenin

Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine

West facade of the Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine. View all images in our Chapelle St-Quenin Photo Gallery.
North transept of the chapel.
The unusual triangular apse of St-Quenin.
Sculpture on the corner of the south transept.
Corinthian capital with human mask on the apse.
Carved capital on the apse, depicting on a struggle.

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.


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

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; Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine
Faiths:Christianity; Catholic
Feat:Romanesque Sculpture
Dates:13th C
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Vaison-la-Romaine, France
Coordinates:44.244319° N, 5.068624° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Chapelle St-Quenin

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.


  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 - art-roman.net

More Information

Article Info

Title:Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:08/02/2010
Link code:<a href="http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/vaison-chapel-st-quenin/france/vaison-chapel-st-quenin">Chapelle St-Quenin, Vaison-la-Romaine</a>