The underground chapel (ossuary)


The underground chapel

It is difficult to date precisely the construction of the chapel . In regard to certain architectural details it may be the 12th century. You can enter by stairs in the lower part of the Gothic nave.
It is 4 x 4metres, it is situated outside the nave and is lit by an oculus covered by a kind of lantern rebuilt in the 19th century. Its walls open to excavations filled with bones which can come from ancient churchyards abandoned for the development and renovation of Nantilly district.
The churchyard called « Cimetière Haut des Recollets » was in the past set on each side of the church and thus above the chapel .This name was given in opposition to « low » churchyard which spread at the foot of the church parvis(square) to the present rue du Mouton.The latter,churchyard of the Poor was often flooded by theThouet river and then became a serious cause of insalubrity.