"Notre Dame de Dives sur mer" Dives-sur-Mer Things to Do Tip by ranger49
Dives-sur-Mer Things to Do: 6 reviews and 19 photos
This church, originally founded in the 11th century, was for some time a centre of Christian Pilgrimage.
The story goes that some fisherman found in their nets a wooden statue of Christ without the Cross.
An ubeliever amongst them hit out at the figure with an axe below the knee - from which blood immediately gushed forth.
Three years later a Cross was washed up by the sea that exactly fitted the figure of Christ - thus creating a relic for pilgrims and leading to the establishment of the Church.
It was subsequently enlarged thanks to the patronage of William the Conqueror but
Pilgrimages ceased after the relic was destroyed in a fire. However the stained windows of the church retell the legend started by the fishemen.
I had visited the church previosly when restoration work was underway - further restoration is again to be undertaken.
Above the porch is plaque bearing the names of the 476 sailors and archers who accompanied William on his momentous journey in 1066. This was placed there in 1862 but the names are too high and too small to be seen clearly. However I have seen a facsimile of the entries and it was interesting to trace the origins of many now familiar English names.
On a literary note the church is said to be the model for the church at Balbec in the novel "A La Recherché de Temps Perdu" by Marcel Proust, who wrote part of the book while staying at an hotel in nearby Cabourg.
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