© Chapelle Du Charmaix | Picasa

Notre‑Dame du Charmaix

Built in the 15th century, on the rock in a narrow gorge, this sanctuary, which shelters a black virgin, is the most visited pilgrimage site in Maurienne.

Charmaix sanctuary


and black virgin

Prayer, miracle and devotion

The origin of the sanctuary is very hypothetical, ” lost in the midst of time” one might say. In the first century AD, when Christianity was first introduced in Maurienne, it was probably a simple oratory leaning against the rock in a particularly dangerous passage over the Grand Vallon torrent.

The route led travellers and pilgrims to what is now Italy, via the narrow valley pass or the Roue pass (passes a little over 2000 metres above sea level), giving quick access to the Bardonnechia valley.

The altarpiece was donated by the Marquise Barolo of Turin in 1850. From 2008 to 2009, it was magnificently restored by Marie Christine Guilloud (Restorer of wall paintings and polychrome sculptures).

In 1918, Abbot Demaison, priest of Modane, had a bronze statue of the Virgin placed on the roof of the chapel.

Every year, the site becomes a pilgrimage venue on the first Sunday of September.


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