Near Avioth, at the beginning of the 12th C, shepherds discovered another sta¬tue of the Virgin and Child. This town also became a popular place of pilgrimage, and a magnificent basilica was built there, a disconcerting building in such a simple place. Dating from the 13th to 16th Cs, its graceful architecture makes it an impressive and exhilarating Gothic masterpiece. The exquisite stone lacework of the adjacent Recevresse, built to receive dona-tions from the pilgrims, is unashamedly Flamboyant Gothic.
The interior of the elegant basi-lica is of outstanding interest: the Champagne-style ambulatory surrounding the choir gives access to side-chapels built in the Gothic style typical of the churches and cathedrals of nearby Champagne.
The Basilica of Notre-Dame of Avioth surprises by its dimensions, 41 meters long and 18 meters high in the vaults. This masterpiece of flamboyant Gothic was probably completed in the 15th century at the location of the discovery of a miraculous statue.
In front of the basilica is a remarkable Flamboyant Gothic building that is unique in France. The Recevresse, built in stone with intricate carved “lacework”, is typical of reliquaries made by jewellers in the Middle Ages. Hexagonal, with delicate open-work and open to one side, it was clearly designed to receive the pilgrims’ offerings.
The pilgrimage takes place every year on 16 July.
Avioth was a “Church of respite from suffering”. People came to pray for a miracle when a baby died in childbirth…
Text and thanks to “An invitation to Meuse County – CDT- Meuse