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Saint-Orens Church of Villebourbon

Historic site and monument, Religious heritage, Church in Montauban
  • The archives show that a church had been built on the left bank of the Tarn around 1320. A few years later, the completion of the bridge linking the two banks was to lead to the development of this suburb.

  • But the name of Saint-Orens, bishop of Auch in the 5th century, suggests a much older foundation, probably prior to that of Montauban (1144).
    The archives show that a church had been built on the left bank of the Tarn around 1320. A few years later, the completion of the bridge linking the two banks was to lead to the development of this suburb. But the name of Saint-Orens, bishop of Auch in the 5th century, suggests a much older foundation, probably prior to that of Montauban (1144)....
    But the name of Saint-Orens, bishop of Auch in the 5th century, suggests a much older foundation, probably prior to that of Montauban (1144).
    The archives show that a church had been built on the left bank of the Tarn around 1320. A few years later, the completion of the bridge linking the two banks was to lead to the development of this suburb. But the name of Saint-Orens, bishop of Auch in the 5th century, suggests a much older foundation, probably prior to that of Montauban (1144). Several churches have succeeded since. One of them was carried away by the overflow of the Tarn on July 26, 1652, shortly after its construction. The current building, inaugurated in 1891, is (with the exception of the bell tower) the work of the diocesan architect Léopold Gardelle. He was closely inspired here by the first Gothic art, that of the 13th century, without falling into pastiche. One can only appreciate the scale of this brick building, 75 m long, and the balance of its architectural volumes. It withstood the flood of 1930 which partly destroyed this district of Villebourbon. Paradoxically, the disaster allowed the completion of the church: thanks to the generosity of the City of Paris towards the stricken city, the bell tower could finally be built by the architect Germain Olivier. With its 65 m height, it is considered the highest in the department. The church houses an exceptional set of stained glass windows, in the art deco style, by the master glassmaker André Rapp. With the stained glass window placed above the main gate, Rapp celebrates the sacrifice of the young industrialist from Montalban, Adolphe Poult, during the catastrophic flood of March 2 to 4, 1930. An accomplished sportsman, he succeeded, on his frail canoe, in saving from the drowned hundreds of people. He himself ends up drowning, exhausted, after a day and a night of fighting. Its name was given to the quay of the Tarn located near the church.