Saint Blaise Church

  • Eglise Vignieu - OTSI Morestel
  • Eglise Vignieu - OTSI Morestel
  • Eglise Vignieu - OTSI Morestel
Eglise Vignieu - OTSI MorestelEglise Vignieu - OTSI MorestelEglise Vignieu - OTSI Morestel


The remarkable church of Saint Blaise stands in the picturesque village of Vignieu, standing out against the landscape like a tribute to 19th-century eclectism, with its tall porch belltower topped with a glazed-tile spire...
At its dominant position in the village centre, Saint Blaise church stands parallel to one edge of the square, Place Fanny Geneste. Steps lead to the porch belltower, a real figurehead with its octagonal glazed-tile spire which can be seen from miles around. Flanked by two octagonal turrets, the flight of steps hides the central part of the western wall which has no windows. The church features twin bay windows in the first two bays of the nave and in the gables of the side-chapels, which form the arms of a Latin cross. Two lean-to sacristies adjoin either side of the right-hand bay of the chancel, which ends in a semi-circular apse with three bay windows. A flight of six steps leads up to the main door enhanced by a dimension-stone frame with inset mouldings. Above the door, a lintel and a Gothic-style arch frame a glass tympanum featuring an openwork triangle surrounding a circle from which stretches a cross. Inside the building, the vast dimensions of the double-bay nave, the crossing and the chapels are ornated with almost pendentive ribbed vaults with narrow grooves running down to standalone columns attached to wall brackets that also support some very thick buttress arches. The Gothic arch is in fact the only example here of the neo-Gothic architecture which is much more visible on the outside of the building than on the inside.

Churches of this type, from the same period and featuring a porch belltower and side turrets, are more frequently found in the south of Isère, for example in Monteynard, Saint-Pierre-de-Méarotz, La Salette and Valjouffrey.


A first church dedicated to Saint Chef was mentioned in Vignieu in 893, and a priory is listed in the pouillé of 1375. The church of the Ancien Régime is little known to us. In the Napoleonic cadastral map it appears to comprise a long nave with chapels on either side of its eastern bay which leads to a semi-circular apse. Proceedings for its reconstruction were launched in 1869. The plans and costings were drawn up by Etienne-Louis Journoud, a diocesan architect from Ain, on 19th July 1873. The total cost was nearly 40,000 francs (including demolitian of the old church, but the belltower was deferred). The church was built between 1877 and 1879 and the old belltower remained in use pending the building of the new one. This only happened in 1888, in line with plans drawn up by the architect Chamberot and for a total sum of 12,400 francs.
  • Type of culturel patrimony :
    • Historic site and monument
  • Style :
    • Style
  • Religious patrimony :
    • Religious heritage
    • Church
  • Period :
    • 19th C
Saint Blaise Church
Place Fanny Geneste, 38890 Vignieu
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Phone : +33 4 74 92 56 96
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Eglise Saint-Blaise
Place Fanny Geneste, 38890 Vignieu
GPS coordinates
Latitude : 45.627564
Longitude : 5.424543