Completed in 1555, the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church in Samoëns is an architectural testimony to the work of the village’s renowned stonecutters.

The first mention of the church dates back to 1167. Former collegiate church of the Diocese of Geneva, the current church was built on the ruins of the old church destroyed in 1476 during the invasion of the Bernese. From this original church, only the lower part of the bell tower (13th century) and the chapel of Saint Claude (15th century) seem to survive. It was not until 1555 to see the completion of the construction work (porch, right aisle). Then followed the work of the choir of the religious building, completed in 1605. Then finally those of the left aisle (1621), then the sacristy (1840).

Eglise de Samoëns
Le village de Samoëns, village station de ski en Haute-Savoie 74
Eglise et Criou à Samoëns

The work of stonemasons from Samoëns

The church of Samoens, marked by the work of stonemasons, is one of the symbols of the village with the Gros Tilleul. Indeed, the building sites of the church and decorative elements were the work of Masons of Samoëns, stonemasons famous in Savoy and France. Tailors to whom Vauban, Voltaire and Bonaparte have appealed for multiple works. The builders of Giffre have left in the church many traces of their know-how.

Marie-Louise Cognacq-Jaÿ, benefactor of the heritage of Samoëns

In 1917, Marie-Louise Cognacq-Jaÿ, founder of the Samaritaine department stores in Paris, 10 years after having created the Alpine Botanical Garden, was once again the benefactor of Samoëns’ heritage. She agreed to subsidize the renovation of the interior of the church of her native village, decorated according to the style of the time, in staff of neo-Gothic inspiration.

This decor made of reinforced plaster became obsolete, a second general renovation of the building was undertaken between 1978 and 1982. This is where the modern aspect of the contemporary church, inscribed as historical monuments since 1987.