Little histories about Saint-Agricol church in Avignon
One of Avignon's oldest church
This is the oldest church in Avignon, with the cathedral! It was founded in 680 and dedicated to Agricol, 40th bishop and patron saint of Avignon. Here, people prayed Agricol in case of huge dryness!
But the legend says he also protected the city from a snakes invasion, with the help of storks...
Aah, but let’s get back to the point: the church! Let’s begin by the façade with its large staircase (15th century) and statues made by sculptor Ferrier Bernard.
They represent Virgin Mary kneeling down, with God sending her the Holy Ghost. Look at the bell-tower, begun in 1537: the upper floors date back to 1545 and the whole tower was completed in 1746! The current collegiate church dates back to 1321, founded on January 29th by pope Jean XXII.
This pope also raised several lateral chapels between 1323 and 1326: Saint-André chapel, Saint-Naufary’s one, and so on.
The inner decoration dates back to the 17th century. We have plenty of things to see, here!
• Agricol’s relics, of course, but also his father’s ones, Magne.
• Family Perussi, cardinal Laurent Strozzi, bishop Viviers Eucher de Saint-Vital, famous painter from Avignon Pierre Mignard (he died in 1725) were buried here. By the way, we can see paintings made by Mignard’s father, Nicolas, on the left aisle...
• On the right aisle: the Ave Maria’s marble retable, made in 1525 by sculptor from Avignon Imbert Boachon. It’s an Annunciation. This is not a retable strictly speaking, but actually family Doni’s grave!
Here, we have the nice marble altar made by Jean-Baptiste Péru in 1765. You can find it on the chapel dedicated to the Pauvres Femmes ("Poor Ladies").
There, also, two white marble statues of saint John and sainte Elisabeth, made by Jean Péru. Péru family, from Avignon, was sculptors and architects: Jean, his son Jean-Baptiste and the grand-son Jean-Baptiste designed wonders in the city!
• Finally, a pretty nice statue of the Virgin Mary by Coysevox.