The papal bull of 1135, which raised the priory of Nant to the dignity of an abbey, mentioned 18 churches attached to this abbey. The monks rebuilt or restored the nearby churches to attract and gather the population. Besides the abbey you can visit five Roman churches in different hamlets on the commune of Nant.
Saint-Martin du Vican Chapel
Take the " Source du Durzon " direction. When you are at Saint-Martin bridge, turn on the left. A bit further on, on the right, you can see Saint-Martin du Vican Chapel in the middle of the fields. It was the cult place for the Durzon valley inhabitants.The nave is from the end of the 11 th century but the apse is from the12 th century. The nave walls are strengthened with buttresses linked to each other by relieving arches. Deconsecrated after the French Revolution, a bill of Louis-Philippe ( May 17, 1835 ) allowed Nant treasurer to sell it. Then, as a private property, it was used as a barn.
Saint-Michel de Rouviac Church
Go along the same road and take Saint-Jean du Bruel direction, then on the left, take Saint-Michel direction. Saint-Michel de Rouviac church is isolated too, in the middle of the fields, down the hamlet. It is a rectangular building with buttresses. The original barrel vault was replaced by intersecting ribs in the 15 th century. The apse has disappeared but has been replaced by a flat gable. A mass is still celebrated every day on Saint-Michel's Day ( september, 29 ). The roof is being restored.
Come back to Nant and take the Dourbie valley direction. At about two kilometers, you will find Notre Dame des Cuns, built with compact calcareous and tufa rocks gilded by the time patina and classed Historic Monument in 1942. The square belfry is pierced with twinned bays on each side. The remains of a defence tower and of a loophole show that the church must have been used as a collective shelter. The choir with its corner cut off is decorated with a blind arcade laid on the Presbyterial bench. The capitals are decorated with spirals, leaves or masks.
Saint-Etienne de cantobre's church
Go to Cantobre, a village perched on a dolomitic promontary. Saint-Etienne de cantobre's church, attached to Nant abbey in 1135, has become a parish at the end of the 12 th century. Only the three-severy apse lightened by three windows and the choir span are Roman. The nave and and the side chapels were rebuilt in the 16 th century. Cantobre had a vicar until 1919.
Come back to the D991 and go on to the crossroads, on the left, with the road leading to Saint-Sauveur. Be careful, the road is narrow and sinuous. Saint-Sauveur du Larzac was a priory of Nant abbey. The Roman body is from the 12 th century. The chapels and the sacristy are from the 15 th century with intersecting groin vaults. The whole building was reshaped in the 19 th century. The floor was raised, the original porch on the cemetary side was bricked up and a new porch was opened on the opposite side.
To come back to Nant, go down into the valley by the same road or go through Saint-Sauveur, go to Montredon, Les Liquisses, Nant.
L'église de la Roque Ste-Marguerite
We can also mention two other Roman churches in the Dourbie valley, but they are not on the commune of Nant. "Notre-Dame des Treilles", under the village of Saint-Véran and La Roque Sainte-Marguerite, built in the 11 th century. The northern wall , the vaults and the belfry were rebuilt between 1732 and 1735 with a remarkable respect of Roman architecture.
Notre Dame des Treilles à St-Véran
The church was known in the 12th century as “Ste-Marie de Dourbie”.
In the 12th century, it became priory of the abbey St-Peter of Nant, and it was enlarged
In the 16th century, two chapels were built on each side of the nave.
Chapelle St-Pierre de Revens