St Julien’s Collegial Church is an attractive stone church in the centre of Tournon-sur-Rhône beneath the Chateau. Its square tower with small cupola dominates the square.
The church was built as a collegiate church in the early C14th on the site of a smaller and earlier church. It became a Protestant church for a few years during the Wars of Religion in the C16th. After the French Revolution it became a ‘Temple of the Supreme Being’ for the new state religion intended to replace Catholicism. It was a Catholic church again by the end of the C18th.
Inside it is a very simple church with nave, side aisles and chancel with a plain arcade of square columns. The wooded pulpit is C17th and has carvings of the four evangelists. The organ is above the west door. By the west door is a statue of a Carmelite priest with one of the old bells on the floor which was cast at the end of the C15th.
There is a small baptistry at the back of the north aisle. At the end of the south aisle is the Chapel of the Dead which has two reliquary heads on the altar.
On the north wall is the Altar of Our lady of Montaigu with a simple stone altar and a C16th painting of Jesus being presented at the temple.
Next to it is the Penitent’s Chapel set through an arch with red curtains. This has C14th frescoes of the Passion of Christ and the Crucifixion.
There are more frescoes above the arch into the Chapel of Our Lady of Piéta at the end of the south aisle.
I visited here on Day 4 of Burgundy, the River Rhone and Provence, a river cruise with Riviera Travel.
My full account with all the pictures can be found “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/otherholidays/rhone/index.html