La chapelle des Pénitents blancs

Monument & Heritage Check location

The Sainte-Foy chapel, commonly known as the Pénitents Blancs chapel, is a church located in the heart of Montpellier, 14 rue Jacques Cœur. Founded in the 12th century, its main interest is its baroque interior decoration and its painted coffered ceiling from the 17th century.

Initially it was integrated into the city walls. It bordered the Way of Compostella and housed the solemn sessions of the Faculty of Arts.

Its initial architecture was probably Roman. The arch that crosses the rue Jacques Cœur did not belong to the church but to the hotel Jacques Coeur. The Brotherhood of the White Penitents settled in the chapel during the 16th century, under circumstances that are not known to us.

The chapel was burned during the wars of religion and then rebuilt. Of the original 21 caissons of the ceiling there are still 14 compartments filled. Very damaged by the Revolution the choir of the chapel is decorated with gilt wooden sculptures from the 17th century from the old altarpiece of the high altar. A large rocky style drum and a new entrance gate were installed in 1747. They present sculptures of great finesse.

This ensemble is dominated by a raised wall bell-tower in 1627. Since 1763, it houses a much older bell, dated 1401 still functional.

Finally, the sacristy presents an interesting set of woodwork from the 17th and 18th centuries, a model of the cross of Peyroux, as well as the plaque of consecration of the chapel Sainte-Croix (occupied by the Brotherhood during the Wars of Religion) December 1200.

The chapel is still owned by the Brotherhood of the White Penitents. It is open several times a week for offices and some Saturdays for free or commented visits.

Contacts & Details

14 Rue Jacques Cœur 34000 Montpellier