When you are in Royan you cannot miss the concrete tower that is the Église Notre Dame de Royan, a post war concrete block of a church. The original church that used to stand there was destroyed during WWII. It’s replacement, built between 1955 to 1958, is not perhaps as aestetically pleasing on the outside as some churches we visited, but still has some great appeal with its leading lines. I was expecting a lot of bulking concrete inside, so when we stepped in via an unasuming side door, I was not prepared for the awe inspiring interior that presented itself.
I totally forgot that the church is made from concrete, instead I marvelled at the massive space which was not interrupted by any internal pillars, the wonderful glass windows illuminated by the light shining in, and the magnificent organ. The church holds up to 2,000 people, consists of 24 pillars on the elliptical circumference, and the organ is a masterpiece of over 3,000 pipes.
The church is easily reached on foot, as it is only a 10 minute walk from the waterfront and about the same distance from the town center; entrance is free. However, if you are planning to visit this church during your visit to Royan, please check to see if it is open, as there are a number of renovations planned. We missed some, which had been ongoing earlier in the year.