La Chapelle des Pétètes, Chapelle des Amoureux...

A jewel of the Haut-Alpes heritage, the Chapelle des Pétètes is a symbol of local folk art.


First of all, a legend...

Once upon a time, in the 18th century, there was a stonemason, Jacques Pascal, who lived in the hamlet of Aoubera (L'Aubérie), a word that designates the aspen, a tree that populates the forests of the surrounding area.
One summer evening, as he was coming home from work, he came across a herd of goats and sheep on his way to the mountain pasture, and in a ray of the setting sun, appeared to him, pushing the herd with his stick, a pretty shepherdess, who was called Marie in the village of Aoubera.
From that day on, the image of this shepherdess never left him.
Not knowing what to do to attract the eyes of the beautiful, he began to sculpt stones that were lying around in his barn ... He wanted to find the fine features of Mary, her sweet smile, and fix them in stone ... for eternity ....
These stone figures, he called them his "petes", which means "doll" in patois. And then from fart to fart, came to him the idea of building a chapel, and in the front wall he would lock his dolls, and Mary would be obliged to notice them!
The dolls became Saints, the Chapel was consecrated to Saint Gregory, Bishop often invoked for the safeguard of the souls of Purgatory.
The history does not say what happened to James and Mary, but today still we remember and marvel in discovering this rarity, this small marvel, this masterpiece of popular art.
This Chapel is also called the "Chapel of the Lovers".
On the façade are represented, Sainte-Marie, Saint-Joseph, Saint-Grégoire, Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Saint-Antoine, as well as figures representing lost souls in search of purgatory.
Some didactic formulas engraved in stone were to teach the faithful humility and respect for God.
Inside there is a 17th century polychrome altarpiece covered with golden leather bands and painted with foliage scrolls, flowers and fruit.
The painting represents a Virgin with Child surrounded by St. Joseph and a Bishop, probably St. Gregory.
The Chapel has been classified as a Historical Monument since 1994.


Chapel of the Pétètes

Hamlet of Aubérie, between Bénévent and the Infournas.
05500 Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur

Phone : 04 92 55 95 72
Tel: 06 16 22 52 08


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