Thursday, June 11, 2015

Church Notre-Dame de Calais/Our Lady of Calais revisited: courtesy of Philip Emerson

Here are some links to Notre-Dame de Calais the prospective twinning partner for Saint Mary's Church in the Lace Market, Nottingham.

Notre-Dame de Calais is the only church on the Continent built in the English Perpendicular style. This period came to an end in Calais in 1558 when François Duc de Guise recaptured the town, causing Mary Tudor of England to famously utter "When I am dead and opened, you shall find Calais engraved on my heart." See this and other quotes on Calais.

The church was badly damaged in September 1944 courtesy of the RAF, a few days before the liberation of Calais by the Canadians, and precious religious artefacts were pillaged. The nave transept and tower were repaired in 1945 but the interior work remained unfinished for more than sixty years until work recommenced in 2009.

The people responsible for this work are very conscious of the English heritage and a Tudor garden has recently been planted round part of the church, designed by the English garden historian Caroline Holmes of Cambridge. The Peter Beale nursery has also produced a white rose appropriately named 'Notre-Dame de Calais' which was exhibited at the Chelsea Flower Show last year before being planted in the new garden and offered for sale (30€ per plant).

 As with all old churches in France, Notre-Dame is the property of the town. Catholic religion is practised but the church is also being used as a splendid venue for concerts, conferences and exhibitions.

Beginning in 1816 when Webster, Clark and Bonnington smuggled a loom from Nottingham into Calais, Calais became a centre of lace manufacturing, eventually outgrowing Nottingham. Now only three or four firms are still making Leavers lace.

Dentelle de Calais ® (Calais Lace) is a registered and protected trademark (like Camembert de Normandie), exclusively reserved for lace made on Leavers looms by master lacemakers of Calais and Caudry using a unique method of knotting between the warp and weft, which dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. See history of Calais lace.

Next time you pass through Calais, stop and visit Notre-Dame de Calais and the fabulous International Museum of Fashion and Lace. There is also a very interesting war museum inside the WWII Nazi communications bunker in the Parc Saint Pierre, opposite the spectacular town hall.
 
More links:
Calais and its history.
Church Notre Dame de Calais /Church  Our Lady of Calais
Stucturae Notre Dame de Calais
Notre-Dame de Calais from the architect's eye
Rose "Notre dame de Calais"
Musi-Chorales Notre Dame de Calais 11è édition 17 mai 2015
PandO Ferries choir at Notre Dame de Calais

Renato Häusler (Kalalumen), artiste suisse qui pare de lumière, les édifices religieux à l'aide de bougies a métamorphosé l'Eglise Notre-Dame de Calais en 2013.


Notre-Dame de Calais - Renaissance - Les Rêves de Notre-Dame