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The origin of the curious Asfeld church

The church | G.Garitan / CC-BY-SA
Parish church Saint-Didier church in Asfeld

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?

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!