Historic site and monument

Chapel of memories and war memorial

© Chapelle du Souvenir et Monument aux Morts

As important places of remembrance, the chapel of memories and the war memorial in Royat feature remarkable architecture which earned them places on the historic monuments registry.

In 1921, the municipality asked sculptor Raoul Mabru, from Royat, to propose two models for a memorial monument dedicated to the victims of World War I (1914-1918). It surveyed the inhabitants for the choice of one of the two models.

The monument was completed in late 1924 and inaugurated on 26 April, 1925. In 1927 it was awarded the Mège award by the Clemont Académie des Sciences, Belles Lettres et Arts (Academy of science, literature and the arts) as the best sculpture of the past five years. It was designed based on the model of a Burial of Jesus. The soldier in the middle, represented as a tomb effigy, is watched by two groups sculpted using in the round technique. At his head are his wife and child, and at his feet his parents dressed in traditional Auvergne dress, namely overalls and flat hat clasped against the chest for the father, and the fluted bonnet for the mother. The regional representation accentuates the dramatic effect. Through the position of the bodies and the facial expressions, the artist manages to express the immense pain of the characters and to elicit emotion.

The chosen location was opposite the new cemetery, on a small promontory where a neo-medieval chapel stands, built in 1876 to accommodate the remains of French soldiers who had died in the hospitals at Royat, and to pay tribute to the native soldiers of Royat who had died in the Franco-German war of 1870. Known as “chapelle du souvenir” (chapel of memories), it displays its dedications on the tympanum above the entrance door and on plaques affixed to the façade. Individual and collective commemorative plaques are displayed inside.

The monument and chapel have been listed on the historic monuments registry since 2019.

Additional information

Visitor alert :

Visit the exterior of the Memorial Chapel only.

Opening dates and times

All year round, daily.

Services and equipment

Equipment : Parking nearby

Prices

  • Free access.