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DISCOVER

THE HILL IN Ronchamp

Welcome to Ronchamp. The Hill of Notre-Dame du Haut is a major spiritual and architectural site. It nestles in the Southern part of the Vosges Mountains.

The Hill of Notre-Dame du Haut, situated in Ronchamp (Franche-Comté), in the Southern part of the Regional Natural Park of the Ballons des Vosges, is an outstanding historical, artistic and spiritual place.

Le Corbusier built a Chapel there in 1955. Jean Prouvé created a campanile in the 1970’s and recently, in 2011, Renzo Piano worked on the Hill. This is how this harmonious group of buildings was born. It is composed of St-Clare’s monastery, La Porterie, the campanile and the Chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut. The Chapel is an iconic building and it was inscribed with 16 others buildings by Le Corbusier on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in July 2016.

Different cultural events take place on the Hill all the year long.

Today, the Hill of Notre-Dame du Haut is visited by 65,000 people coming from all over the world each year.

The buildings, by Le Corbusier

The chapel

After the destruction of the chapel in 1944, the owners decided to rebuild it in a modern style. They did not turn to Le Corbusier (1887-1965) until rather late, after being disappointed by many unsuccessful projects.

Le Corbusier’s construction work lasted from 1953 (construction of two houses, one for the chaplain and one for pilgrims) to 1955 (completion of the chapel). The whole site was inaugurated on June 25, 1955.

Moved by the landscape, Le Corbusier designed the chapel as “a word addressed to the place“, a white lighthouse in  the landscape which attracts the pilgrim on his way. Nature, architecture and religion have a fundamental relationship. The facades stretch toward nature, and symbols drawn from nature (flowers, birds, etc.) and the cosmos exalt the Virgin Mary in the chapel.

With his chapel, Le Corbusier reinvented the traditional sacred space, where light plays a big symbolic role. In the wall, the statue of the Virgin Mary dates from the 18th century and came from the previous chapel. The vault, which seems to be raised by the light above the choir, is in fact a hollow shell, supported by fifteen reinforced concrete pillars inserted into the walls. These walls, non-bearing, are made up of stones from the old chapel destroyed in 1944.

The “wall of light“ pierced with many openings is illuminated by the southern light. Painted with images of nature, the windows praise the Virgin Mary as “beautiful as the moon“, “morning star“, etc. The three meter wide enamelled gate is also the architect’s work. It seems to represent, from the outside, an Annunciation. As for the inside, the meaning remains unclear, but we see two hands joined in prayer ascending to the sky, probably a symbol of prayer or resurrection.

The furniture was also designed by the architect: the confessionals, the benches, the altars, holy water stoups, candlesticks, crosses… Architecture and furniture are ruled by the Modulor, a system of measures invented by Le Corbusier, which puts in harmony the Man and his constructions.

A large outdoor choir stands on the east side. This choir hosts the Pilgrimages dedicated to the Virgin Mary twice a year on August 15 (Assumption) and September 8 (Nativity of the Virgin).

The houses

The Pilgrim House was intended to house the workers building the chapel. It contains two large dormitories, a refectory and a kitchen. After the inauguration of the chapel, pilgrims or other groups could sleep here a few days. The other house, originally designed for the site caretaker, takes its name from the chaplain (the priest attached to the chapel) who lodges there.

At first, Le Corbusier intended to build them in wood and rammed earth, like the “murondin“ type houses he devised during World War II. In the end they were built with stones from the old chapel and reinforced concrete. The vegetation on the roofs blends the houses into their environment and creates good insulation.

These houses are oriented to the south-west and south-east, and therefore receive natural light all day. The ingenious system of windows arranged in a line along the join of the two sections of the roof brings light to the back of the house. As in the chapel, the interior furniture was designed by Le Corbusier.

l'abri du pèlerin Le Corbusier Ronchamp
La maison du chapelain Le Corbusier Ronchamp
pyramide de la paix et colombe Le Corbusier Ronchamp

The peace pyramid

Ronchamp veterans commissioned the building of the pyramid to commemorate their brothers in arms fallen on the hill in 1944. The stones from the remains of the old chapel were used for its construction. This pyramid is reminiscent of ancient architecture and serves as a platform from which the faithful can follow the pilgrimage ceremonies. The dove, symbol of peace, which surmounts the small steel pillar was designed by André Maisonnier, Le Corbusier’s assistant responsible for the construction of the chapel.

The structure by Jean Prouvé

The bell tower

Le Corbusier wanted an electro-acoustic musical system instead of bells, but the project never saw the light of day. In 1975, after Le Corbusier’s death, Jean Prouvé created a steel arch carrying three bells. The two largest bells (E and F sharp) came from the old chapel and the little one (A), cast

in Annecy in 1974, bears the names of Le Corbusier’s mother and his wife: Charlotte-Amélie-Yvonne-Marie. They ring every day, at 9 am, noon and 7 pm.

The buildings by Renzo Piano

The monastry and the oratory

In order to welcome the faithful and to maintain a spiritual presence, the owners decided to implant a monastery on the hill. To that end, they encouraged the Poor Clares of Besançon to settle at Ronchamp. The new monastery is the work of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) and was inaugurated on September 8, 2011. The firm also built a new reception center, the porterie (gatehouse), which hosts the offices and temporary exhibitions.

Renzo Piano’s buildings sit on the hillside, in harmony with the chapel designed by Le Corbusier. The half-buried buildings are invisible from the Notre-Dame du Haut chapel. The monastery extends along two levels: downstairs, the bedrooms, and upstairs, the areas of community life (reception, library, workshops, kitchen, oratory). Large bay windows connect the nuns to nature and the outside world. Reinforced concrete is the material of choice to support the weight of the earth but also to link to the work of Le Corbusier. The nuns’ daily life is punctuated by work (making liturgical garments in the workshops) and prayer.

EXPLORER

the place

Discover the works on the Hill of Notre-Dame du Haut

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PYRAMIDE DE LA PAIX CHAPELLE NOTRE-DAME DU HAUT PORTERIE DE NOTRE-DAME DU HAUT ORATOIRE DU MONASTÈRE SAINTE-CLAIRE ABRI DU PELERIN MAISON DU CHAPELAIN CAMPANILE MONASTERE SAINTE-CLAIRE Vue Michel Corajoud Porterie Vue Sud Vue Michel Corajoud Monastère Vue Nord Vue Est

PYRAMIDE DE LA PAIX

Elle est commandée par les anciens combattants de Ronchamp qui souhaitent rendre hommage à leurs frères d’armes morts sur la colline en 1944. Les pierres de l’ancienne chapelle ont servi à sa construction. Cette pyramide, rappel de l’architecture antique, sert aussi de tribune d’où les fidèles suivent la messe de pèlerinage. Symbole de Paix, la colombe qui surmonte le petit pilier d’acier est dessinée par André Maisonnier, assistant de Le Corbusier et chargé des travaux de la chapelle.

CHAPELLE NOTRE-DAME DU HAUT

La chapelle Notre-Dame du Haut, détruite lors des bombardements de 1944, reconstruite par Le Corbusier et inaugurée en 1955. Joyau de l’architecture moderne, cette chapelle réinvente l’espace sacré, abandonnant l’organisation en croix, et dans laquelle la lumière joue un grand rôle symbolique.

PORTERIE DE NOTRE-DAME DU HAUT

La Porterie est le pavillon d’accueil des visiteurs du site de la colline Notre-Dame du Haut. Véritable lieu polyvalent, le bâtiment est une véritable sas avant l’entrée sur le site. Il propose une zone de billetterie-boutique mais également une zone de détente et d’activités culturelles (expositions, conférences, ateliers).

ORATOIRE DU MONASTÈRE SAINTE-CLAIRE

L’oratoire est la chapelle où les sœurs se réunissent quotidiennement pour la prière. Comme à Notre-Dame du Haut, une voûte qui paraît flotter monte en direction du chœur pour y rencontrer la lumière zénithale.

ABRI DU PELERIN

L’abri du pèlerin est destiné au logement des ouvriers bâtisseurs de la chapelle. Il contient deux grands dortoirs, un refectoir et une cuisine. Après l’inauguration de la chapelle, les pèlerins ou les groupes pouvaient y gîter quelques jours.

MAISON DU CHAPELAIN

Cette maison a été initialement construite pour le gardien du site, qui n’y a jamais vécue. Elle tient son nom du chapelain – le prêtre attaché à la chapelle – qui y loge.

CAMPANILE

Le Corbusier ne souhaitait pas de cloches pour la chapelle, mais avait imaginé un système électroacoustique qui n’a jamais vu le jour. En 1975, après la mort de Le Corbusier, Jean Prouvé réalise un portique en acier supportant trois cloches.

MONASTERE SAINTE-CLAIRE

Le monastère Sainte-Claire est tapi à flanc de colline, invisible depuis Notre-dame du Haut. Il s’étend sur deux niveaux : en bas les chambres, et en haut les lieux de vie communautaire (accueil bibliothèque, ateliers, cuisine, oratoire). Les grandes baies vitrées relient les sœurs à la nature et au monde extérieur. Le béton armé est le matériau obligé pour soutenir le poids de la terre, mais aussi pour répondre à l’œuvre de Le Corbusier.

Vue Michel Corajoud Porterie

En 2008-2011, l’atelier de Michel Corajoud travaille à Ronchamp. Associé au studio de Renzo Piano, il conçoit le remodelage paysager des espaces de la colline et la végétalisation des bâtiments. Ici une vue de la végétalisation du toit et abords de la Porterie de Notre-Dame du Haut.

Vue Sud

Lors de sa première visite sur la colline, Le Corbusier a été frappé par la vue des quatre horizons, qui ont été une forte source d’inspiration. Au sud, nous percevons les premiers sommets jurassiens.

Vue Michel Corajoud Monastère

En 2008-2011, l’atelier de Michel Corajoud travaille à Ronchamp. Associé au studio de Renzo Piano, il conçoit le remodelage paysager des espaces de la colline et la végétalisation des bâtiments. Ici une vue de la végétalisation du toit et abords du Monastère Sainte Claire.

Vue Nord

Lors de sa première visite sur la colline, Le Corbusier a été frappé par la vue des quatre horizons, qui ont été une forte source d’inspiration. Ainsi, la façade Nord offre une vue sur les Vosges.

Vue Est

Lors de sa première visite sur la colline, Le Corbusier a été frappé par la vue des quatre horizons, qui ont été une forte source d’inspiration. Ainsi, la façade Est offre une vue sur la trouée de Belfort.

© Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
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Renovation of the chapel

Chapel restoration campaign, 2021-2024

Find all the information relative to the renovation work at the Chapel Notre-Dame du Haut in Ronchamp
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PRATICAL

INFORMATION

Opening times

Open every day except on Monday and on the 1st of January

Till the 11th of October: from 10:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m

From the 12th of October: from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m

Last entrance: 30 minutes before closing time

 

Entrance rates

From the 1st april to 31st october
High season rates :

Adult : 9€
Reduced ticket (disabled visitor, jobless visitor, RSA recipient, Cezam pass, Tourisme Vosges du Sud Passport): 6,50€
Student (up to 30 years old) and Avantages jeunes pass: 6,50€ 
Child (8-17 years old): 5€
Yearly Pass (giving illimited access): 15€ 

From the 1st november to 31st march
Low season rates :

Adult : 8€
Reduced ticket (disabled visitor, jobless visitor, RSA recipient, Cezam pass, Tourisme Vosges du Sud Passport): 6,50€
Student (up to 30 years old) and Avantages jeunes pass: : 6€
Child (8-17 years old): 4€
Yearly Pass (giving illimited access): 15€ 

Free admission for the inhabitants of the Local Coucil Community Rahin-et-Chérimont (a proof of address is requested).

pleasef find here all the rates

The admission ticket is valid for the day.

Included in the admission ticket, by reservation only: daily guided “discovery” tours available from April to October, guided tours dedicated to a specific theme (please refer to the yearly cultural programme) and the virtual tour.

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Phone : +33(0)3.84.20.65.13