The chapelle des Réparatrices

This neo-Gothic chapel is part of a religious structure, the Réparatrices convent, which was built in the 19th century by the Baroness de Brienen. In this video, discover the architectural details and interior decoration of the chapel, as well as the cloister located at the rear.

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This chapel, built in a neo-Gothic style, is part of the former Convent of the Réparatrices. At the time of its construction in the second half of the 19th century, Pau was developing rapidly thanks to its success as a resort town. More and more religious communities settled here to take advantage of the generosity shown by the high society that descended on Pau for long periods of time, though the proximity to Lourdes was also a factor.

It was here on her own land that the Baroness of Brienen had the convent built, near her home—the Villa San Carlos. By doing so, she wanted to pay tribute to her aunt, who had been the founder of the Order of the Réparatrices. These nuns had made it their mission to pray as a way of righting the wrongs inflicted on Christ by humankind. 

The chapel was designed by the architect Lucien Cottet and built around 1883. It acts as a meeting point between the two perpendicular wings of the monastic buildings that make up a cloister. Its elongated shape reflects the neo-Gothic style, as do its large windows and cross vaults, as well as the sculpted fleurons, pinnacles and capitals that adorn its architecture. The alternating white and grey limestone blocks give a certain rhythm to its buttresses and the framings of its openings, as with the rest of the convent.

Inside, the chancel is decorated with elaborate mosaics embedded into three blind arcades and above the two side doors. The stained-glass windows, as old as the chapel itself, are the work of Parisian master glassmaker Claudius Lavergne.

In 2003, the convent was transformed into a creative and teaching space and now houses the auditorium of the National School of Music and Dance. The chapel is also used as a venue for many concerts during which its Cavaillé-Coll organ can still be heard today.

As many as 74 classrooms and two dance studios can be found in the other parts of the convent and in the extension building.

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