L'eglise notre dame de anges
Rue Dumas, Pondicherry, India
L'eglise notre dame de anges Pondicherry Reviews
A church with many names Nov 18, 2014
The Church of our lady of Angels is known as the L'eglise notre dame de Anges in french.It is very popular and known as the Kaps Kovil by the locals which name is the abbreviation of the word "Capuchin" from the name of the order of priests who administered it.It is also known as the "white church" for the color of the church which has been changed only recently or may be because it was in the white mans side of Pondicherry.
The church was built in the 17th century and like its many names was built more than once.What now stands permanently is the fourth attempt of construction completed in the 18th century after the church was destroyed by the British in War.Built by the French who administered Pondicherry as its colony the church is one among the many churches quite unique and distinct from the ones built by them in Pondicherry or by the Portuguese in Goa, Manapad or by the British in Chennai.
The church has two tall bell towers and has a medieval clock which plays the hymn Ave Maria.I did hear the chime of the bells but was told that the clocks are not functional any more.The church overlooks the Jean of arc park and the sea is just beyond it.Nestled in a clean environment,it is well maintained by the authorities.There has been some changes to the flooring,which if from what I can recollect from my childhood visits was originally in white marble.The stained glass decorations on the lintel, roof and windows adds color as well as permits the sunlight to paint its colors on the interior of the church and one must say it adds splendour to this exquisite building.A circular dome and a barrel roof is another unique architectural design distinct from the other churches here.
Commissioned by Napoleon III,this place was often visited by him and by the many dignitaries of France.It is now an important tourist attraction as also a hot spot for film shootings.The church is still functional and the Eucharist is venerated here.Holy masses are offered in Tamil,English and in French vernacular.Many Indian residents from France attend the French mass.This may be the only church in India which offers mass in French.
My visit here,was to rekindle my childhood memories which I had enjoyed here with my cousins and friends during holidays and this time around I am blessed with more knowledge about the church, its names and history.L'eglise notre dame de anges is a must see attraction in this heritage town which has also many names to its credit.
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