Heritage

THE OLD TOWN

vieux crepyThe quiet streets are surrounded by private hotels and dwellings built between the XIV and the XVIII centuries by the royal servants in office at Crépy-en-Valois: the hotels Lion (XIV), Orléans (XV), de la Belle Image (XVI), Maisons de la Rose (XVI), St Joseph (XVIIème), le Fond Marin (XVIIème), Maison des Quatre Eléments, des Quatre Saisons... (Private properties)

Visitor may fall under the historical charm of wandering about through the Old Crépy...

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THE CASTLE

facade 2Built on a promontory standing out in the plateau of Valois, it occupies a dominant position in Crépy-en-Valois. By 1170- 80, Thibault III of Crépy-Nanteuil built a bottom chapel dedicated to Saint-Aubin and opening onto the city. His son Philippe I, comrade in arms of King Philippe Auguste at the Bouvines Battle (1214), affirmed his prestige and wealth by raising the chapel and building a castle destined to residential use.

The second floor traditionally contained the kitchens and the communal areas. More surprising was the comfort of the noble rooms, illuminated thanks to the presence of large windows. The lord would receive his guests in a vast room, covered by a magnificent structure, always very admired by visitors. As soon as the castle lost its residential purpose, in the second half of the 13th century, this space became little by little a granary. On the same floor, the lord and the people close to him could access the high chapel of Sainte-Marie, which was exclusively reserved for them. Connected to the bottom chapel of Saint-Aubin, both had been used by canons who would go around from one level to the other, through a staircase built in the thickness of the walls.

In the 15th century, the castle was attached to the domain of the Dukes of Valois. It became the office of the bailiwick tribunal and of the Duchy's administration. The jurists eventually became the elite of the City. Several beautiful dwellings of the Old Crépy are evidence of this fact. The castle also served as a prison from the end of the 18th century to 1850. In fact, on a cold night of October, it had an illustrious guest, the poet Gérard de Nerval. Thereafter, local associations, the theater and a cinema where housed between its walls before leaving place to a museum of arts and popular traditions right before the Second World War. In 1949, the museum's collections are oriented towards archery and the religious patrimony of Valois.

Website of the Archery and Valois Museum

Facebook page of the Archery and Valois Museum

SAINT-ARNOUL ABBEY

Abbaye Saint-ArnoulIt was founded in 1008 to contain the relics of Saint-Arnoul. Nowadays, only a part of the conventual buildings abandoned after 1940 remains. Partially restored, the abbey comprises a cloister gallery, the chapter house, the parlour, the warming room (17th and 18th centuries) and an important network of underground galleries. It houses a collection of tools and an important collection on the theme of marriage from 1850 to 1940: objects, furniture, clothes, jewelry...

Abbey Saint-Arnoul and Marriage Museum:
Open Sunday afternoons from the 1st of April to the 23rd of December.
Free entrance.
Place Saint-Simon. Phone/Fax: 33.(0)3.44.94.25.73

SAINT-DENIS CHURCH

eglise st denisIt is the only parish church since 1802. It was in all probability the 11th century chapel of Gauthier le Blanc's castle. A document from 1162 first mentions the Saint-Denis church. The 12th century Roman nave was restored during the 19th century. Followed by major damage caused by the Hundred Year's War, the sides of the building were reconstructed in the 15th century, and big works were undertaken in the 16th century: the choir was reconstructed, the vault in cradle remade, and the choir's floor re-paved. These works correspond to the current description of the building. It was sold as national property in 1792 and later requisitioned and transformed into a fodder warehouse and returned for religions activities in 1802. The frontage with its rose window was entirely recovered in 1844, and the bell-tower rebuilt in 1852. In 1998 and 2003, the Municipality decided to offer new stained-glass windows.

Website of the Saint – Sebastian Parish

SAINT-THOMAS OF CANTERBURY COLLEGIATE

collegiale saint thomas de canterburyIt was built under Philippe of Alsace in 1182. The church's tower served as an observatory to the English during the siege of the city in 1432.  Then, they broke it down to prevent it from being used by other assailants. During the abolition of cults in 1793, the church was used for public celebrations. It is engraved on the entrance: "Le peuple françois reconnoit l'Etre Suprême et l'immortalité de l'âme" (The French people recognize the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul). Sold as national property to a quarryman, it was demolished between 1805 and 1810. Mr. Delahante, Mayor, rebought the bell tower to give it back to the city in 1823. Today still remains the 50m high bell tower, the façade and the first row of the nave. At the foot of the historical building, in a little square, there is the War Memorial, artwork by the sculptor Albert Bartholomé. This square was built on what was the former church.

BOUILLANT AND ITS SURROUNDINGS

bouillant 11The little church of Bouillan's old village, today attached to Crépy-en-Valois, houses in its cemetery another artwork by Bartholomé: the tomb of his wife. The artist represented himself crying on his wife's dead body; Christ on the cross receiving the husband's grief dominates the scene.

Mairie de Crépy-en-valois

2, avenue du Général Leclerc - 60800 Crépy-en-Valois
Tél. : 03.44.59.44.44 - Fax : 03.44.59.44.59

Du lundi au vendredi de 8h30 à 12h et de 13h30 à 17h30
(17h le vendredi).
Permanence accueil le samedi de 9h à 12h (sur rendez-vous). 

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