Our Lady of the Sick Church Saint-BlaiseOur Lady of the Sick Church Saint-Blaise
©Our Lady of the Sick Church Saint-Blaise|Xavier Thomas
Our Lady of the Sick Church

Art Deco jewel

The church Notre-Dame-des-Malades with its exceptional Art Deco interior decoration was built between 1925 and 1931 against the church Saint-Blaise. Its black virgin is venerated in Vichy for a long time for its miracles.

An immensity

In the heart of Old Vichy

Passersby who stroll throughthe Vieux Vichy district may be tempted to ignore the Saint-Blaise church if they are put off by its imposing architecture. Yet this mass of concrete plays up the contrasts by housinga gem of Art Deco decoration. The Saint-Blaise church has the originality of being composed of two churches: the “old church”, built in 1714, and the “new church”, built in 1931.


A little history

In the twenties, with thermalism flourishing in Vichy and the construction of the quartier de France, Saint-Blaise became too small. Canon Robert plans the construction of a new church and appeals to donors. This construction site is conferred to two Vichy architects, Jean Liogier and Antoine Chanet who have realized the Petit casino (Valery-Larbaud cultural center), the Radio hotel and the City Hall.

Reinforced concrete

A revolutionary material

The new Art Deco building, a style then at its peak in the 1930s, will be built of reinforced concrete, a “revolutionary material” prized by architects in the early 20th century. On its dome stands the statue of the Virgin. The venerated lady measures 5.20 m high and weighs 5 tons. In 1931, a new blessing celebrated the partially completed church. In 1933, the construction of the perron (50 tons of stones), the access staircase, the crypt and the laying of the stained glass windows are completed. The interior decoration (choir, dome, baptismal font) will be executed from 1935. It will continue in 1943 with the paintings of the walls of the nave.The bell tower is erected in 1956. On its domed roof stands a concrete and glass cross. Illuminated at night, it is in some ways the lookout of Vichy.


An Art Deco jewel

The sobriety of the building on the outside does not prepare for the Art Deco prodigality offered on the inside by the iconography and materials: paintings, stained glass,
mosaics, marble, onyx, marquetry, etc. The decoration is consistent with the architecture: two guiding lines, the vertical for “aspiration
of the human soul towards God” and the horizontal, all around, tells “the history of the world centered on Christ”. It is a reading, in large format and in images of the Bible.


The old church

This chapel has always been the object of great fervor in Vichy, due in particular to the Black Virgin of the 14th century. She is venerated in Vichy of long tradition for her miracles. According to some accounts, during the Revolution, only the head of her Black Virgin escaped the fire, thanks to a ten-year-old child who saved her from destruction. In 1802, she was placed on a wooden base covered with the old mantle and thus took over the head of the processions. It was not until 1931 that the statue regained its body thanks to the sculptor Emma Thiollier. From now on, it is placed above the altar of the chapel of Saint Blaise, one of whose stained glass windows gives Mary, the title of “Virgin who quickly exauges”.


your guided tour