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Ville de Saint-Martin-de-Crau

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"Une ville de Provence chaleureuse et accueillante"
"Une ville de Provence chaleureuse et accueillante"

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HomeTourisme Anglais > Visits and DiscoveriesThe Church and its Orientation Table


The Church and its Orientation Table

Localisation :
The new church was built in 1876 on existing foundations dating from the tenth century, and its construction underwent many changes in the course of time.
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In 1052, the "Sanctus Martinus de Palud Majori" church was offered by Guillaume, Vicomte de Marseille, to the canons of Arles.

In 1061, Raimbaud, Archbishop of Arles, donated it to the Chapter of St. Trophime. If you look carefully at the original design of the bell tower, you can see a high door that is accessible only by ladder or wooden staircase. Arrow-shooting openings cut in stone testify to the defensive role of this place. In addition, there is a window opening under a coat of arms on the northern façade. All this evidence leads to the conclusion that the building served as watchtower, while the original church was located next to the tower.

In the seventeenth century, during the Great Plague, a second tower was built, on top of the old watchtower. Later, in 1720, a chapel was built. It disappeared sometime between 1929 and 1933. In 1790, the Chapter of Arles appointed a priest to serve the 800 inhabitants of Saint-Martin de Crau de la Palud: this is one of the first parishes that were restored by the Concordat. The new church was built in 1876.

In the nineteenth century, a window opening destroyed the proportions of the early church, while shoddy construction against the bottom side blocked the entrance to the tower.

In 1992, renovations undertaken by the town opened access to the bell tower and restored it to its purpose. Since 1995, other renovations were carried out: renovation of the façade, of the stained glass windows and the nave wall, the support and coating of the walls, façade lighting, etc.

Orientation Table 

From the top of the tower, you can admire the magnificent view to the Alpilles Mountains. To help you better appreciate it, an orientation table was installed in the tower in 2007.