The Saint Sauveur Church (rue Saint-Sauveur)

  • Église St-Sauveur, clocher (17)
    St-Sauveur Church, bell tower (17) © Musée Rochelais d'Histoire Protestante

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

Associated tours

  • A walk through Protestant La Rochelle

    As 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...

Associated notes