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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 and, one could say, “is lost in the mists of time”. It was probably at the time of the introduction of Christianity in the Maurienne, in the first century AD, a simple oratory leaning against the rock in a particularly dangerous passage over the torrent of the Grand Vallon.

The route led travellers or pilgrims to present-day Italy via the narrow valley pass or the Roue pass (from the passes to a little over 2000 m above sea level), giving rapid 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.

A pilgrimage is organized every year, on the first Sunday in September.


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