"Ce qui vous frappe, quand vous êtes en présence de bien des constructions modernes, imitées de l’art admirable du Moyen-Âge, c’est que ces oeuvres sont des imitations. Ce qui vous frappe, au contraire, quand vous êtes en présence d’une oeuvre d’Alexandre Grigny, c’est que cette oeuvre a un tel cachet de vérité, que vous la prendriez pour une oeuvre ancienne si vous ne l’aviez pas vu bâtir. " (Constant Le Gentil, 1877)
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Born in Arras on April 8th, 1815 of a worker become a building contractor, the young person Alexandre begins as a mason apprentice. Self-taught he devotes to the drawing and to the architecture. At twenty, he travels crossing France and Belgium, investigating churches and cathedrals because of his strong willingness of knowledge. Back to Arras, the chief mason breathes into his realizations a medieval and romantic sensibility.
Fascinated by history of the architecture, he is also a hard defender of buildings bequeathed by the Middle Ages working within the Commission des antiquités départementales.
Become the architect of the Arras diocese, he realized numerous buildings reinterpreting the beautiful work of the masons of the ancient times. He died however poor and almost blind.
During this two day tour (400 km) you will discover a palette of neogothic realizations of diverse sizes produced between 1842 and 1867 in varied sites. You can also make a shorter one day tour around Arras.
Of his two bigger realizations in Arras, the chapel of the Benedictines of the Sint Sacrament (1842-1846) and the chapel of Ursulines (1859-1865), nothing is still on place.
But you can admire the elegant Deusy hotel, Saint-Aubert street, now a property of the chamber of commerce and industry and the church Sint-Gery the Crucifix of which the poet Paul Verlaine celebrated.
The route allows to discover the chapel Our Lady of Lourdes in Saulty-L’Arbret,
then the church of the small village Saint-Gratien (Somme), his works in the cathedral of Cambrai, the church Our Lady of the Sint Cordon in Valenciennes, the church of another small village, Gouy-sous-Bellonne, the church Sainte-Rictrude of Mazingarbe, and on the West in Audomarois, the church Saint-Sulpice of Lumbres, in a very bad state...
You can end the tour in Azincourt: Grigny was a bard of the memory of the French knights killed during the battle of 1415 and whose bones had been dug up during "godless excavations" by the English soldiers in 1815.
Click the map or to "Agrandir le plan" (below it) to take advantage of its interactivity.
The blue line represents the circuit of two days (400 km), the green ones a circuit of one day around Arras (160 km).
We can also guide you in English and read or not some texts in French during this tour. For booking and for the fees, click here