Basilique Notre-Dame de l'Epine, L'Epine

#10 of 36 in Historic Sites in Marne
Historic Site · Tourist Spot
The Basilique Notre-Dame de l'Épine is a Roman Catholic basilica in the small village of L'Épine, Marne, near Châlons-en-Champagne and Verdun. It is a major masterpiece in the Flamboyant Gothic style.
Started around 1405-1406, construction lasted until 1527. Elevated to a basilica from 1914, Notre-Dame-de-l'Épine takes its name from the devotion given to a statue of the Virgin holding the Child Jesus. According to a legend from the 17th century that has since evolved, the statue was found by shepherds in the Middle Ages in a burning thorn bush. The basilica has the dimensions of a cathedral and is in the Gothic architectural tradition. The façade has three portals and is crowned with two spires. The right spire is high. The left spire was leveled in 1798 to allow the installation of a Claude Chappe telegraph. It was rebuilt in 1868.
The basilica was classified a historic monument in 1840. In 1998 it was registered on the World Heritage List by UNESCO under the title of "roads to St Jacques de Compostela in France". Notre-Dame de l'Épine has always struck travelers and inspired writers, especially Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Paul Claudel and Paul Fort.
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Basilique Notre-Dame de l'Epine reviews

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88 reviews
  • The Basilique Notre-Dame in Epine is well worth the visit, inside and out! Beautiful stained glass windows.  more »
  • Towering over the tiny village around it this grand church dominates the area. It has all the usual attributes, gargoyles, majestic spires and intricate carvings on the exterior, and soaring vaulted.....  more »
  • This basilique looks so unusually in such a small town like L'Épine! Love it here :-)
  • Very nice gothic cathedral. No crowds whatsoever. If you are in the general area you should take a detour to see it.

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