Last week, I posted photos of the outside of eleven half-timbered churches in the area known as “Wet” Champagne. I thought you might like to see what they are like inside. Unfortunately, the last three churches were closed by the time we got there. The recurring feature of course is the timber frame, sometimes unfortunately covered up with a false ceiling. One of the sad things I find about churches in France is that the original decoration and period are rarely respected when additions are made such as altars and stations of the cross. It should be remembered that, for the most part, these are country churches.
Like most people, our only view of Champagne was Reims, Troyes, Epinay and vineyards but late one September, we were looking for somewhere to spend a long weekend and do some cycling before the cold weather set in. We found a gîte near Lac du Der and discovered, to our amazement, the existence of no fewer than eleven half-timber churches in the area, four of which we visited by bike and the rest by car. It was like a treasure hunt as we went from to the other and as you can see from the photos, it was an absolutely perfect day. Many of these churches used to exist in Normandy, but were bombed during the war. The ones in Champagne,mainly built in the 16th century, have been miraculously preserved.