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EGLISE COLLÉGIALE SAINT-HIPPOLYTE - LE MALZIEU-VILLE

Religious building in Le Malzieu-ville
  • The current Saint-Hippolyte church is the third parish church erected in Malzieu. The first was probably built by Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Saint-Gilles during the 12th century. A bull from Pope Innocent III, dated November 12, 1208 confirms to the abbey of Saint-Gilles du Gard its rights over the church of Malzieu. The monks erected two churches at the same time, the second on the mound of Verdezun near Malzieu being dedicated to Saint Laurent. These two Romanesque style churches...
    The current Saint-Hippolyte church is the third parish church erected in Malzieu. The first was probably built by Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Saint-Gilles during the 12th century. A bull from Pope Innocent III, dated November 12, 1208 confirms to the abbey of Saint-Gilles du Gard its rights over the church of Malzieu. The monks erected two churches at the same time, the second on the mound of Verdezun near Malzieu being dedicated to Saint Laurent. These two Romanesque style churches must have been quite similar. The ruins of Saint Laurent can help to imagine the first church of Saint-Hippolyte. The second Saint Hippolyte church was erected to replace the Romanesque church destroyed in 1573 by the troops of Mathieu Merle during the wars of religion. It will be rebuilt in 1582 in the Gothic style of the time. The community of priests of Malzieu (14 priests) was responsible for the 35 surrounding parishes. During the last quarter of the 19th century the church becoming too small and the cemetery having to be moved outside the walls led to the erection of a new church. Based on plans by the departmental architect Germer-Durand, the reconstruction began in 1881. It was carried out in two stages: the first ended in 1884 with the construction of the body of the church, the second extended over the year 1886 which will see the elevation of the bell tower. In neo-Romanesque style, the Saint-Hippolyte church is built on a Latin cross plan along a south-north axis, the bell tower outside the walls attached to the south face forms a closed porch. With the exception of the west sacristy, all the vaults are groined and the semi-circular arches. The interior dimensions are 36 m long by 29 m, the central vaults are 11 m. In the south arm of the transept is presented, in a showcase, a Virgin and Child from the 13th century, the Virgin of Apcher. The Virgin of Apcher was the first movable element discovered on the site of Apcher. However, it was not an excavation campaign that revealed it, but it was while clearing the back of the chapel in August 1960 that Father Poudevigne, then parish priest of Prunières, discovered it among some old furniture. It was certainly made in the second half of the 13th century. It is a Virgin in Majesty, in wood, which is characterized by the poverty of the metal which covered it (62.5% tin, 35% lead, 2.5% various impurities) . Today there are only four or five statues of this type. That of Apcher is the latest discovery. It is protected as a Historic Monument. Another particularity, the bell tower has four bells, one of which dates from 1611. In order to discover Malzieu city more closely, do not hesitate to take advantage of the Malzieu circuit in a loop (16 km, 4 hours) or even the guided tour throughout the year on request from the Tourist Office or via the historical route made up of 28 stops.
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