In 1562, Robert de la Marck, duke of Bouillon and sovereign prince of Sedan, adhered to the reformed religion together with his wife Françoise de Bourbon. In 1593 their daughter Charlotte de la Marck and her husband Henri de la Tour d’Auvergne had a temple built in Sedan.
The new Temple
After the Saint-Barthélémy massacre, a number of Protestants settled or took refuge in the city and the twenty villages belonging to the Principality on the border between the Meuse valley, Belgium and Luxembourg. It was only in 1642 that the Principality was to become French.
At first, the church service was held at the Mirbyrch hospital (no longer existing) and, a little later, on the first floor in the trading hall. The Catholic Church of Saint-Laurent, destroyed in 1799, was then used for simultaneum services. In 1593 the duke and his wife decided to have a big temple built. It was called the new Temple.
The edifice was a big rectangle with bevelled angles. The woodwork was supported by six pillars along the side. Tribunes were added half way up over the bays. The edifice was lighted by four large bay windows. The pulpit was in the centre of the nave. A small steeple and a clock tower surmounted the apse.
In 1642 Sedan became French, and the temple was transformed into a Catholic church. A choir and two side-chapels were added ; it became the Church of Saint-Charles.
As Protestant worship was forbidden for a hundred years, the simultaneum services in Saint-Laurent church were abandoned.
It was in 1803 that Napoleon was to give to the Protestants the church of the Convent des Filles de la Propagation de la Foi. It had been built in 1669 and had served as a prison for Protestant girls. It was a Protestant temple until 1896.
The Goulden Temple
The Goulden Temple was built in the 19th century. The Church in the Convent of the Daughters of the Propagation of the Faith was built in 1669, and Protestant young ladies were imprisoned there. Bonaparte gave it to the Protestants, and it was a Protestant Temple between 1803 and 1896. Pastor Goulden had it demolished and the present Romanesque-Byzantine style Temple built.
- DUBIEF Henri et POUJOL Jacques, La France protestante, Histoire et Lieux de mémoire, Max Chaleil éditeur, Montpellier, 1992, rééd. 2006, p. 450
- LAURENT René, Promenade à travers les temples de France, Les Presses du Languedoc, Millau, 1996, p. 520
- REYMOND Bernard, L’architecture religieuse des protestants, Labor et Fides, Genève, 1996
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