Liste des sites du Passais

cliquez ici pour consulter l'album photographique Domfront
(canton of Domfront, Orne)

Church of Notre-Dame-sur-l'Eau

    The church is situated on the edge of the Varenne, at the foot of the spur on which the castle is built. It was part of a priory of the abbey of Lonlay, perhaps dating back to the latter's foundation in c. 1020.
Despite the mutilation of the four eastern spans of the nave and all its side aisles in 1836 when a road was built, the church of Notre-Dame-Sur-L'Eau remains the most beautiful Romanesque church in the Passais region.
The church originally had a traditional Benedictine layout. The nave - which was never vaulted, but merely covered with a frame structure - and the facade probably date from the second half of the 11th century while the transept, choir, south apse (the north apse is a 17th century re-working) and the tower are from the beginning of the 12th century.

The vaulted choir is the most detailed part of the building, and is the only part to be vaulted. The granite capitals have very little ornamentation: geometric decorations (crosses, transepts, and very loose interlacing...) and animal heads (rams and cats...).


- L'art roman dans l'Orne, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 66, été 1975, p. 2, 24-25, 32-33
- Baylé, Maylis. - Les origines et les premiers développements de la sculpture romane en Normandie, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 110bis, 1992, p. 146-147
- Baylé, Maylis. " Notre-Dame-sur-l'eau ", dans : L'architecture normande au Moyen-Age, t. II, Caen : Presses universitaires de Caen –Condé : éditions Charles Corlet, 1997, p. 85-88
- Grodecki, Louis. "  Notre-Dame-Sur-L'eau de Domfront ", Congrès archéologique de France, CXIe session, 1953, p. 221-235
- Musset, Lucien., Normandie romane, 1. Basse-Normandie, La Pierre-qui-Vire, 1967, p. 211-215
- Musset, Lucien. " L'église Notre-Dame-Sur-L'Eau ", Annuaire des cinq départements de la Normandie, Congrès de La Ferté-Macé, 147e congrès, 1989, p. 31-34
- Les siècles romans en Basse-Normandie, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 92, Printemps 1985, p. 91, 98, 138