Chapel of Saint Joan of France in Bourges
Plaque. © C. Caudron - SGA/DMPA
The monastery’s churchyard was acquired by the city of Bourges in 1834 and was transferred to the State in 1857. It was then assigned to the army.
The Chapel of Saint Joan was part of the Convent of the Annunciation founded in 1503 by Joan of France, daughter of Louis XI.
The monastery’s churchyard was acquired by the city of Bourges in 1834 and was transferred to the State in 1857. It was then assigned to the army. The Chapel of Saint Joan was part of the Convent of the Annunciation founded in 1503 by Joan of France (1464-1505), daughter of Louis XI and Charlotte de Savoie, also known as Joan of Valois, who was canonised by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
The inside was separated into two nearly equal parts by a dividing wall.
The first part, to the west and lit by small windows, had the nun’s choir on the first floor, forming a tribune. It could be reached by a winding stairway that still exists today and which also provided access to the convent buildings.
A second choir is on the ground floor for the Brothers, whom Saint Joan dreamt of having join the Sisters of the Annunciation for the convent’s religious services.
The second part of the chapel was made up of the area reserved to the faithful and the sanctuary whose shape follows that of a regular semi-hexagon.
The attic space
The wooden vault, currently hidden by a ceiling, followed the curve of the frame in the form of a pointed barrel vault.
The girder trusses were visible; the ends of their tie beams sculpted with phantasmagorical heads, some of which can still be seen, swallowing the beams. All of this, which can be admired in the chapel’s attic space, was painted in colours that have been fairly well preserved. The panelling is painted a greyish white and the joint covers in blue, red and white, the colours of the Sisters of the Annunciation’s habits.
The main entrance door with its triangular arch is crowned with two pinnacles and an ogee arch with slopes decorated with thistle leaves. Around the central finial, the initials of the Virgin Mary’s ten virtues are sculpted in capital Gothic letters. In the 17th century, the tips of the two pinnacles were cut off to install fire-pot finials and the central finial of the ogee arch was eliminated to make a niche where a statue of the Virgin Mary was probably placed.
The monastery churchyard
In the 18th century, the Monastery of the Annunciation’s churchyard was cut off to build the current Avenue du 95ème-de-Ligne and the entrance to the convent was equipped with a large, round-arched portal. In 1793, the Sisters of the Annunciation were dispersed and their belongings sold. The monastery churchyard was acquired by the city of Bourges in 1834 and was transferred to the State in 1857. It was assigned to the army.
Refurbishment of the chapel
The refurbishment work on the chapel undertaken by the Engineering Department enabled it, in May 1961, to once again be used for religious services and for the military chaplain of Bourges. The departmental military delegate, the garrison office and the CIRAT (Army Information and Recruitment Centre) are located in the building.
Lignières Parish Priest
Rue Jeanne de France 18160 Lignières
Téléphone : 02 48 60 00 61
Télécopie : 02 48 60 18 92
Ministry of Defence
Secrétariat Général pour l'Administration Direction de la Mémoire, du Patrimoine et des Archives
14 rue Saint-Dominique 00450 Armées
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
6 avenue du 95ème de Ligne 18000
Fax : 05 46 87 53 27