Église Notre-Dame de Vals (Church of Our Lady of Vals) – Vals, France - Atlas Obscura

Église Notre-Dame de Vals (Church of Our Lady of Vals)

Vals, France

A medieval church built into an ancient cave. 


At this incredible church, spirituality and history combine in a way that leaves visitors in silent awe of the sanctuary. 

This church is partially built into the surrounding rock. It was originally a hermit cave dating from the Roman era, though archaeological artifacts have revealed a human presence there dating from between the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age.

You enter the church through a door that leads through a cave-like interior steeped with a long human history. The church foundations date from the 10th century, though portions of it are from the 12th and 14th centuries. 

The lower portion of the sanctuary is decorated with a Romanesque fresco. In the 19th century, beautiful stained glass windows were installed as part of restoration efforts. As such, the church contains a medley of ancient carvings and relatively modern frescos. 

Know Before You Go

From Pamiers or Mirepoix you take the D119 and follow the signs which clearly indicates the turning for the "Eglise de Vals" which is on D40.

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