The origin of the curious Asfeld church
Welcome in Asfeld! An astonishing circular church, raised in 1683 by the no less astonishing viscount of Neuchatel, Jean-Jacques de Mesmes, councillor in Paris Parliament: a fine erudite, who became the first member of the prestigious Académie Française, in 1676!
The man built a brand new church on a vast square he laid out. He put François Romain in charge of the construction: a Flemish brother who was the king’s architect and worked with Mansart on the Parisian pont Royal in 1685! The viscount also raised, in 1730, a castle near the church: it was destroyed during the Revolution.
But that’s another story... In 1685, the church was completed. We have 3 parts: the porch surrounded by columns and crowned by an oblong roof; the campanile covered by a dome; the rotunda.
These 3 parts are linked together. The dome looks like Roman Pantheon, with more than 30 columns supporting the vaults! Maybe because mister de Mesmes often travelled in Italy?