As they became too numerous to meet in private houses, the Protestants of La Rochelle were granted permission to use the churches of Saint Sauveur and Saint-Bartholomew for worship in 1561. By agreement with the Catholics ‘when some came out, the others entered’ and it all occurred ‘in great peace’.
The situation did not last long, barely for a few weeks in 1561 and 1562. The king’s Edict of Amboise (19 May 1563), eventually allowed Protestants to meet publicly in the Saint Michel and Gargoulleau rooms.
In 1568 François Pontard, then mayor, made the people of La Rochelle join Louis de Condé’s party. The city was put in a state of defence, the churches were pulled down and the stones used to strengthen the city walls. The church towers alone were preserved as strategic watch towers. The destructions account for the present aspect of Saint Sauveur Church. The 15th century bell tower is the only remnant, the rest of the edifice having been rebuilt in the 18th century after a terrible fire.
Progress in the tour
A walk through Protestant La RochelleAs early as 1546, La Rochelle was one of the major cities in the kingdom won over to the Reformation. La Rochelle had been an economic and maritime power since...
Louis de Condé (1530-1569)Louis de Condé descended from Louis IX (Saint Louis) was the Protestant leader during the first three Wars of Religion, until the battle in Jarnac where he was wounded and...
The ancient Gargoulleau house(22 rue Gargoulleau)
The Saint Bartholomew Church (rue Pernelle)
First war of Religion (1562-1563)1 March 1562 Massacre of Wassy 2 April 1562 Orléans conquered by Louis de Condé 30 April 1562 Lyon becomes Reformed, violence, iconoclasm 20 September 1562 Treaty of Hampton Court...