The Chapel of St. John, St. Antony and St. Crepin was founded in 1622 and finished in 1628. The Chapel is a space of exhibitions of the Commune
In 1633 a group of wealthy local villagers set up a religious brotherhood of penitents blancs under the invocation of Notre Dame l’Annonciade (annunciation). With the agreement of the hears of Antoine Courchet, it was decided to build a penitents’ chapel next to the chapel of St John. It was finished in 1637.
The merging of the two chapels
The chapel provided the penitents with meeting place where they practiced their prayer meetings, bible readings and meditation. From here they also organized processions, celebration, festivities and funerals vigils for the death were held in the vaults which were excavated in 1646. For religious services the brothers used the chapel of St Jean, its’ main entrance opened at the bottom of their premises. The two buildings were merged in 1649. The combined chapel served as annex to the parish, especially when work in the village church of St Clement made it unusable till it was rebuilt in 1782.
Following 1789 Revolution, the chapel, abandoned by the dissolved brotherhood served for some years as meeting place for the local society of the “friends of freedom and equality”. It was valued at 2650 livres, sold for national good, altered, defaced and soon forgotten. Local tradition states that the vaulted arched ceiling which separates the chapel into two levels was built for the cork factory. Legend also has it that the workshop of the ironworker Cavalier, who made the cross that dominates the village, was in the chapel.
During the same period the surroundings of the building were transformed: the cemetery disappeared, a new district was created around the Mairie square. The old chapel was integrated into this development of houses, and its origins were forgotten.
In 2002 the town of la Garde-Freinet took the opportunity to buy back the building and create a cultural centre open to the public.
Nowadays it is the seat of the Tourist Office and the Conservatoire du Patrimoine.
- Historic patrimony
- Religious heritage