The Visitation monastery, in Paris, on the coronary heart of a battle between the diocese, Gérard Depardieu and heritage defenders | EUROtoday

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As a lover of outdated stones, Julien Lacaze is used to this type of divine shock, however this time… He remains to be utterly overwhelmed. In 2020, throughout one more stroll in Paris… The picturesque and romantic rue du Cherche-Midi, within the 6e arrondissement, between Montparnasse and Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a couple of meters additional on rue de Vaugirard, the longest road in Paris… At quantity 110, a carriage entrance that he holds in place together with his foot when somebody comes out… And there… “I come across a wonderful place, outside of time. »

At the entrance to the Visitation monastery, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, February 12, 2024. At the entrance to the Visitation monastery, in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, February 12, 2024.

Julien Lacaze, 47, occurs to be the president of the heritage protection affiliation Sites & Monuments. “I discovered a private mansion which served as a hunting lodge for the Clermont-Tonnerre family [une vieille famille aristocratique française], an exceptional 1820 chapel. With slabs, carpentry windows… On the surrounding wall, two Louis XVI pilasters. Nothing has changed. I am amazed by the dimensions of the garden. More than 4,000 square meters. Amazing. I realize that there is a situation because the sisters lived in self-sufficiency. A small urban farm as we imagine it today. A rare testimony of breeding in the heart of Paris. »

A little corner of heritage paradise in the heart of the capital, a hidden urban connection with ancient times. The Visitation monastery, as it is called, extends over an area of ​​more than 7,000 square meters, between the streets of Vaugirard and rue du Cherche-Midi. After the move of the community of the Sisters of the Visitation in 2010, the diocese of Paris inherited the place, disused since then, but with the air of paradise lost for Mr. Lacaze.

The Church of Paris then decided to make it a shared accommodation to accommodate three associations which will welcome pregnant women in difficult situations, people with disabilities and others in precarious situations. A place of mutual aid and charity, according to the wishes of the last five resident nuns, a project of collective interest which was granted a building permit, in 2019, by the City of Paris.

“The damage will be irreversible”

If the non-public mansion, a former ladies' boarding college, and the primary chapel will likely be preserved and renovated, annexes – a bakery, a laundry, the cow shed, and so forth. – will likely be razed to make manner for brand spanking new buildings whose stone facades are judged “of great architectural poverty”, in line with Julien Lacaze. HAS the looks of demolition indicators on the facade, for work which might start in December 2024, the blood of Julien Lacaze has solely gone one spherical: “The bishopric needs to hold out a challenge that’s definitely social, however in opposition to the overall curiosity. It is an eminently heritage place which is able to disappear. Two small oratories within the backyard and the funeral chapel may even be destroyed. This challenge will spoil the whole lot. The harm will likely be irreversible! »

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