Monday 27 February 2012


Ronchamp is a commune in the Haute-Saône department in the region of Franche-Comté in eastern France. It is located between the Vosges and the Jura mountains. The famous church close to the town is informally known as "Ronchamp", but formally it is the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut (Chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut de Ronchamp). It was completed in 1954 and is one of the finest examples of the architecture of Franco-Swiss architect Le Corbusier, and one of the most important examples of twentieth-century religious architecture.

Notre Dame du Haut was thought of as a more extreme design of Le Corbusier’s late style. The chapel is a simple design with two entrances, a main altar, and three chapels beneath towers. Although the building is small, it is powerful and complex. The chapel is the latest of chapels at the site. The previous chapel was completely destroyed there during World War II. The previous building was a 4th century Christian chapel. But, at the time the new building was being constructed, Corbusier wasn’t exactly interested in “Machine Age” architecture. He felt his style was more primitive and sculptural, so he decided to build something more interesting.

Here is André Campra's (1660-1744) - "De profundis" (Psalm 130). It is a lament, a Penitential Psalm, used in liturgical prayers for the faithful departed in Western liturgical tradition. In deep sorrow the psalmist cries to God (1-2), asking for mercy (3-4). The psalmist's trust (5-6) becomes a model for the people (7-8).

This post is part of the Sunday Psalms meme.


  1. so much to see and hear and learn...very nice!

  2. «Louis» very much enjoyed your musical selection!

    Re Ronchamp. This is a case study in why a Marxist-atheist architect never should be commissioned to design a worship space. For one thing, Le Corbusier had no sense of the importance of music to liturgical worship and the acoustics are horrible. The Lutheran Seminary in Berkeley, CA (unfortunately) has a replica of Ronchamp as its chapel, and «Louis» can attest to the horrid acoustics. Le Corbusier's proposed urban renewal of Paris called for the demolition of Nôtre-Dame!


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