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Chapel Saint-Michel-41875
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Infrastructure - Lieu public

Chapel Saint-Michel

Discreetly positioned, this chapel is found at the heart of the village of Haute-Nendaz, alongside what was once the main road.

Now renovated and well maintained, the chapel has seen some highs and lows over the years. It was constructed in 1499, as attested by an engraved wooden panel that can be seen to the centre left of the building, which had been discovered during renovation. Rebuilt and refurbished many times over, it escaped disappearing completely in the 1960’s when some inhabitants of the village wanted to demolish it. One neighbour even proposed buying it in order to turn it into a pigsty. Thanks to the intervention of the association for Historical Monuments of the Canton of Valais, and to the courage of certain individuals, the chapel was saved.

In its actual state, the building with its Baroque style dates back to the 18th Century. The interior decoration is the work of the painter Charles Frédéric Brun, more commonly known by the name of Le Déserteur (The Deserter). He arrived in the region of Nendaz in 1840 and nothing is known of his life previous to this as he never spoke of it. Nevertheless, it is believed he was a native of Colmar, France and it is guessed that he was a deserter from Napoleon’s army. The people of Nendaz took pity on him and in return for food and shelter given to him, he painted pictures. There are many families in the village in possession of a work of The Deserter.

Between 1850 and 1860, the artist painted various biblical characters on the walls of the chapel as well as the great Christ suspended from the iron bar above the altar. In his work, the Deserter almost certainly inspired by the countryside and bucolic images.




Chemin d'Oua

Route de la Télécabine 1
1997 Haute-Nendaz
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