ASSOCIATION COMPS HISTORIQUE
Mairie de Comps
26220 COMPS

compshistorique@orange.fr
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History 2018-03-07T10:50:59+00:00

The church of Saint Pierre and Saint Paul

It stands alone and nearly isolated on the top of its hill at a height of 650 meters above the sea level. It is right in the centre of the little parish of Comps whose houses are scattered in every direction.
Whether in the light of the rising sun or whith the warmth of the setting sun The church attracts the people out for a walk as well as the tourists and the artists.
The story goes that one Lord from the village got lost in the forest which was very thick then as he was hunting. He knelt down and swore to God that if he could find his way safely out of these woods, he would build a chapel on this very spot. And he kept his word.

The history

The first mention of the church can be found in 1032 in the official documents of the Benedictine Abbey of Savigny (near Arbesle in the Rhône).There we notice the donation of several possessions from the Bourdeaux valley, including the Church of Comps.
The priory of Comps is ministered the canons of the Saint Thiers Abbey of Saoû in the XIth and XIIth centuries.
In 1732, it it is linked to the chapter of Saint Sauveur of Crest. But there are nolonger any nuns at that time.

Restoration

Major restorations are carried out in the XIXth century before the church is transformed in the XXth century. It is so poor that in 1970, the Mayor and the village council take steps to raise funds to restore it. A quarter of a century later, the walls are completely restored. It is re-ordered in 1996 when an inaugural mass is celebrated by the Bishop of Valence. In 1998, the repairs are completed and the inauguration takes place during a huge parish fair with all the inhabitants of Comps and a lot more. For the occasion the organisation Comps Historique has bought chairs benches and the Cross. Since then they have managed to provide the central heating, the electrification of the bell, etc.

The church today

The church has been classified at “ancient monument” since 1938 and it belongs to the parish of Sainte Anne de Bonlieu en Drôme Provençale (community of Saint Maurice). It is part of the diocese of Valence. Services, evening worships, sacred meetings and ecumenical ceremonies are regularly held there.

Architecture

The church of Comps belongs to a transitory period. Provencal characteristics are mingled with various others. Some architectural features such as the use of the gothic arch, arcs with double rolls, quarter round mouldings come from the XIth century. The steeple or church tower is missing, there are no nave bays and no apsidioles. The question is : is it because of a lack of time or of money ?
The sculptures (fantastic animals or very simple geometrical patterns) make a great contrast with the perfect octogonal dome.
A black funerary strip bears the arms of the Vesc family.
The church shows today a Greek cross structure and we can’t explain it. Moreover the transept is longer than the naive. Is it because they couldn’t achieve it or because they changed plans ?
There have been quite a lot of diffferent theories made by historians but a lot of questions remain unanswered today.
The church of Comps is still mysterious.