Experience the impressive recycled church of St. Grégoire in the city center
Cool in summer and warm in winter. Hospitable and peaceful. The parish church of the Provencal medieval village of Tourettes-sur-Loup always welcomes you and the citizens of the area when the summer heat or the winter cold winds become too violent, at an altitude of 400 meters.
The father of celibacy
The church is named after Pope Gregory the Great who, with a strong personality, was a very significant pope in the 6th century. He is referred to as a very pious advocate of clerical celibacy, and this was problematic as his clergy colleagues often had to deny their own children, and repel them to an uncertain fate.
Gregory, however, became especially known as a strong missionary and administrator and for his great interest in art and music. He lived from the year 540, and became pope at the age of 50 until his death in 604, after which he was immediately appointed saint for musicians, singers, students and teachers. The church room in St. Grégory is not large and flashy, but definitely worth a visit with a simple and yet colorful Catholic wall decoration as well as two beautifully carved and gilded statues from the 15th century by the altar.
It is probably not waste sorting and CO2 reduction that the pastor preaches about, but quite unknowingly, St. Grégoire has been a recycled church for many centuries, as it, with varying faiths over time, has always been a gathering point in the exact same place in the mountains behind the Mediterranean coast.
Therefore, a pagan altar stone has also been integrated into the church decoration, and the buildings have been rebuilt several times. Most recently from a Roman Renaissance church in 1551 to a Catholic church, which got its current appearance in 1861.
Newly renovated building
The church’s facades, bell tower and roof have just, in 2020 and 2021, undergone an extensive but gentle renovation, after the building had not been maintained for many years and looked a bit worn out. Green plants and even small trees had taken root and grown here and there on the roof and cornices.
Now the church is beautiful again and ready for many more years of service in the local community, where the funds for the renovation, among other things, were found as sponsorships from the city’s companies.
An obvious lunch stop
The church is located in the heart of the old town on Place de la Libération, and in the cafés and restaurants in the narrow streets around the church it is obvious to enjoy lunch or a cup of coffee in connection with the visit to the church. And if you visit Tourettes-sur-Loup in early March, you may even be lucky enough to see the church and the whole town festival-decorated with thousands of blue violets and yellow mimosas.
By Mikael Mortensen/ 2021
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