Saint-Hugues-de-Chartreuse Church

The weather has been phenomenal since we’ve been in Grenoble. It’s a little crisp in the morning and a little frost in the morning but once the suns out its absolutely glorious. Cath and Denis suggested one of the best things to do in Grenoble was to take a trip out to Saint-Hugues-de-Chartreuse church which has become a unique art gallery. The drive out was beautiful as we wound our way through the hills surrounded by snow capped mountains.

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Along the way we had stunning views across the valley of little villages and hills dappled in autumn colours of golds and reds. as we drew nearer to our destination the road started climbing through a heavily forested area winding back and forth as we reached the peak before winding down again. This road was definitely not for those plagued with motion sickness. Denis took the windy mountain roads of the Parc Natural De Chartreuse in his stride with foot to the floor and a smile on his face. When we arrived at we discovered that the cow paddock on the edge of little village of Saint-Hugues was also a landing strip for Paragliding.

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The church of Saint-Hugues-de-Chartreuse is also home to the Museum of Sacred Art (museé d’art sacré contemporain) which is one of the best art galleries in Grenoble. The church has been transformed into a gallery by French contemporary sacred artist, Jean-Marie Pirot, known by his nickname Arcabas.
Even though he’s taught at École des Beaux-Arts of Grenoble, been a professor at the University of Ottawa, has works displayed in France, Germany, Mexico, Canada and the USA, he’s still virtually unknown. Maybe because his work is contemporary and is not more traditional.


However, despite his apparent obscurity, for the past thirty three years he’s been adding art pieces to this impressive display. As he lives in the village at least he’s close to his work.

I can’t say that I’m a fan of all his work but I’m in the minority. Michele, Cath and Denis loved his style of contemporary religious art. The sculptures, art pieces, frescoes and paintings all have a biblical message. Some where quite easy to work out what they referred to but others took a while to work out. Take a look and decide for yourself what you think.


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After visiting the church Cath suggested a great place to visit around Grenoble was the ski village of Saint Pierre de Chartreuse, which was just up the road. The traditional ski village is just beautiful with great views and access to some great ski fields from close to the centre. It was a real treat to visit during autumn and we hope to get back during winter.

Our trip home took us back through the Parc Natural De Chartreuse however via the summer road, a small twisting road which is closed during the winter. From the top of the hill there were great views of snow capped mountains and bare granite cliffs. Quite spectacular. Tomorrow we are looking forward to visiting Monteynard Lake.

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