The Extraordinary History of Notre-Dame des Vignes

Listed as a Historic Monument, the Chapel of Our Lady of the Vines in Visan is the fruit of a legend that has become history.

The history thus wants that a statue of the Virgin with the child was discovered in a furrow by a wine grower in XIIIe century.

He fervently transported her to the parish church... but, in the night, it disappeared.

Three times, in spite of the vigilance of the priest, this phenomenon was repeated.

We conclude, therefore, by popular faith, that the divine and Marian will was to have a chapel built on the very place of the discovery.

This was probably done at the end of the 15th century.


Visan twice spared from the plague

In 1629, the plague raged in Provence but Visan was spared while the epidemic was ravaging the surrounding area.

On August 25, 1629, the Consul of Visan, Alphonse de Piolenc, then Major of the Normandy regiment, pronounced the vow instituting a perpetual mass.

It is celebrated on Saturdays to thank the Virgin of Our Lady of the Vines for having kept the plague away from Visan.

In 1720, another epidemic from Marseille broke out again in Provence. It will cause more than 100 000 deaths. But Visan is protected again and stays away from contagion.

The Visanese then devoted a particular worship to Our Lady who protected them twice.


A sumptuous chapel
During the visit of the chapel, one remains amazed by the very great ornamental richness of the building. The choir has the most beautiful gilded wood ensemble in the southeast of France, characterized by an altarpiece with carved decoration, busts of St. Peter and St. Paul in low relief, the statue of the Virgin of the Annunciation and of the Angel Gabriel and panelling from the 17th century, as well as a high altar from the 18th century.

The nave was extensively rebuilt in the 18th century, while the choir retains a "Gothic" structure, although dated 1508 and restored in 1637. A wrought iron gate, the work of a Visanese locksmith Jacques-Joseph Armand, separates the choir from the nave.

Nuns now occupy the hermitage and ensure the supervision and maintenance of the chapel.

The chapel is classified as a historical monument.



Notre-Dame des Vignes

Notre Dame Road

Route de Vaison
84820 Visan
Tel: 04 90 41 92 37



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