Known for being one of the most beautiful baroque style churches in Haute-Savoie with its double dome bell tower and double gallery, the Saint-Nicolas de Combloux church is a must in the heritage of the Pays du Mont-Blanc.
You will also find in Combloux and around many chapels, crosses and oratories, witnesses of a strong religious affiliation in recent centuries. Built in the village hamlets to allow the inhabitants to exercise their faith, people went to these buildings to ask for protection against disease, war, beasts or even the vagaries of the weather.
Discover the Combloran heritage
Want to explore the jewels of rural mountain architecture? Thanks to the heritage loop, set off to discover the rich heritage of Combloran and immerse yourself in the timeless magic of Combloux!
- From the start of your adventure, an authentic farm will welcome you… And not just any farm! That ofisidore, listed as a historical monument. This must-see will open the doors to a rural world steeped in history.
- Continue your journey and let yourself be amazed by the biotope body of water. In summer, treat yourself to the exquisite pleasure of a refreshing swim in this natural pool, home to a fascinating biodiversity.
- Your exploration will also take you past the majestic palace PLM, an elegant witness to the past, where each stone tells a story.
- Continue on your way and admire thebaroque church of St. Nicholas, a true architectural masterpiece that testifies to the artistic know-how of the time.
And of course don't forget to look up to see the crosses and oratories that line your route, offering moments of meditation and contemplation.
The Saint-Nicolas church in Combloux
Dedicated to Saint-Nicolas, patron saint of children, merchants and sailors, the baroque church of Combloux was built in 1704 and is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Haute-Savoie. Its bell tower, listed as a historical monument since 1971, is distinguished by its 45 meters in height, its two octagonal galleries and its two bulbs, jewels of Savoyard bulb art.
On its facade is one of the oldest sundials in the Pays du Mont-Blanc. At the entrance to the church, admire the frescoes painted under the awning, retracing the legend of Saint-Nicolas as well as the imposing Combloux granite portal.
Inside, we find the codes of Baroque art with a profusion of gilding, statuettes and twisted columns, in particular on the altarpiece, which is also classified as a historical monument.
Often far from the parish church, the hamlet chapels allow the inhabitants of these villages to come and pray there for the protection of their homes, families, livestock and crops and for the memory of loved ones who have disappeared. They also often represent the symbol of success of an inhabitant of the hamlet who has made a fortune, or have been built in gratitude for a granted wish, for a vanquished illness. According to ancient popular beliefs, ringing the bell in the event of a storm helped ward off lightning and storms. The bell is also rung when an inhabitant of the village dies or during the Rogation mass.
The chapel of Ormaret
Founded in 1495 by a native merchant of this village: Michel DINTROD or D'INTROUZ. It is dedicated to Saint Félix (praised to ward off storms and lightning, storms and hail) and Saint Maurice (patron saint of the House of Savoy).
The statuette of the Virgin which is fixed above the entrance door was sculpted by an inhabitant of the village: Mr. François FEIGE who lives in the farm opposite.
The bell, cast during the Revolution, was replaced by a subscription from the inhabitants of Combloux.
The Médonnet chapel
By an act of foundation of 1637, François MORGE and his wife Anne CROSAZ, inhabitants of the parish of Combloux, make the wish to build a chapel which they wish to place under the patronage of Notre Dame de la Conception and of St François.
The chapel is already built since it received the visit and the blessing of the parish priest of Megève and canon of the church of Sallanches on October 30, 1636.
According to a local legend, the MORGE couple would have climbed on their knees from Sallanches to be protected from the plague and would have stopped at Médonnet completely exhausted. Another legend claims that it served as a refuge from wolves.
The Chapel of Cruet
Begun in 1667, its construction was completed in 1671 under the impetus of Jean-Louis and Nicolas BRONDEX, the first priest of Combloux and his merchant brother.
It is placed under the protection of St François de Sales (bishop of Geneva at the time of the Protestant Reformation and who made numerous visits to the smallest parishes of his bishopric, attracting the favors of the people by his simplicity) and of Saint Roch (Prayed for protection from the plague).
The word “oratory” comes from the Latin verb “orare” which means “to pray”. Placed at the edges of paths, in woods and mountain pastures, it is difficult to know their history because there are no documents. They were installed by the owners of the land in gratitude for a granted wish, in memory of a tragic episode or, on the contrary, of a healing by people with less money than those who had the chapels built. Their ancestors are, without doubt, the ancient anointed stones (sprinkled with sacred oils) of the Roman roads.
Oratory “The Stone to the Virgin”
In a small niche dug in a block of granite, is sheltered a statue of the “Virgin of Lourdes” surrounded by ND de la Salette and the characters of Maximien and Mélanie to whom the Virgin would have appeared. Under the niche is the date 1680.
Legend has it that this oratory, built to ask for protection against evil beasts, would have saved villagers pursued by wolves.
Oratory “Chez Fenouil” or Notre Dame de Combloux:
Located along the road to the church, it was acquired (to 2010 ) by the municipality during the sale of the old farm located behind that belonged to the FENOUIL family. Its construction dates back to 1950 and a statue of the Virgin is protected behind glass. It is made of granite and tuff.
La Frasse Oratory
Made of a block of granite, it contains a small crowned Virgin and Child. Under the niche we read the inscription: 1860 FFBE
Oratory of Serves
Consisting of a masonry structure, it contains a statue of the Virgin and Child behind a wrought iron gate. The date fixed on a granite plate seems to be that of its renovation (1980) because according to the inhabitants it has always been there.
Oratory of Gemoens
This oratory would have been built at the request of Mrs. Agnès PAGET, in 1946, following the return from the war of her son Maurice and the recovery of her other son Roland. Inside the niche, there is a crowned Virgin and Child, surrounded by other statues including a "Notre Dame des Alpages".
Thorn Hollow Oratory
It is one of the oldest oratories in the town. Built in tuff (yellow limestone whose texture resembles a sponge), available in the cliff just above the stream, it bears the date of 1743. It is said to have been built in memory of a missionary priest attacked by brigands in this location. Its niche houses a statue of the Virgin in prayer as well as St Thérèse and St Joseph.
Oratory of Cret
This oratory is built of granite. A statue of the Virgin is protected by glass in the niche. Above the niche, we can read BJA October 1, 1916: this oratory would have been erected by the parents of Joseph Arthur BRONDEX, who died of his war wounds. The latter would have made a vow to build an oratory if he recovered. Despite his death, his parents decided to carry out his wish.