Saint-Orens Church of Villebourbon

Historic site and monument ,  Gothic ,  Church at Montauban

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  • The records show that a church was built on the left bank of the Tarn around 1320. A few years later, the completion of the bridge connecting the two banks was to cause the development of this suburb. But the word of Saint-Orens, bishop of Auch in the fifth century, suggests a much older foundation, probably earlier than that of Montauban (1144). Several churches have succeeded each other since. One of them was swept away by the overflow of the Tarn of 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, the first Gothic art, that of the thirteenth century, without falling into pastiche. One can only appreciate the breadth of this brick building, 75 m long, and the balance of its architectural volumes.

    He resisted the flood of 1930 which partly destroyed this district of Villebourbon. Paradoxically, the catastrophe allowed the completion of the church:thanks to the generosity of the Paris City Council towards the 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, art deco style, by master glassmaker André Rapp. With the stained glass above the main portal, Rapp celebrates the sacrifice of the young Montalban industrialist Adolphe Poult, during the catastrophic flood of March 2 to 4, 1930. A successful sportsman, he managed, on his frail canoe, to save the drowning hundreds of people. He ends up drowning himself, after all, after a day and a night of fighting. His name was given to the quai du Tarn located near the aglise.