The church of Saint-Nicolas in Labenne
The church is located on Republic Square, next to the town hall, in Labenne’s town centre. It was built in the second half of the XIXth century, or maybe at the beginning of the XIIIth. In 1857, access to the church is forbidden for security reasons. One of the joists fell down during the mass and caused panic.
The Prefect of the Landes took the decision to rebuild the church. A classic structure in Latine cross can be seen in the new building. The only particularity is that the entrance opens to the east, which contradicts the Landese tradition, where porches open to the west. Could that have been made to protect the entrance from the western winds?
In 1860, the church of Labenne has received several religious pieces of furniture thanks to a gift of Napoleon IIIth. The altar of the Virgin and the altar of Saint Joseph, both built in marble stone, as well as a throne and the panelling, are part of these acquisitions.
The church has got a Pieta from the XIXth century. It also has a wooden statue of the Virgin of the Infant, from the XVIth century. Enlarging works are carried out between 1890 and 1898. On this occasion, an ensemble of twelve stained-glass windows was ordered to Gustave-Pierre Dagrant, a glass maker from Bordeaux.
The bells are repaired in 1919. They are the last element remaining from the original church.
In 1992, the inside of the building was fully restored. An architect of the “Bâtiments de France” remakes the ensemble of paintings by adopting a colorful style.
The church is then open to the public.
The Chapel of Sainte-Therese
The Chapel of Sainte-Thérese was opened on the 1st december, 1932. Jules Bouville, Mayor of Labenne and owner of the Hélio Marine Centre decides the creation of a second place of cult in answer to the demographic increase.
It is built on the dune, in Labenne Ocean, a shortway from the Hélio Marine Centre and the beach. Built in a classic architectural style, the chapel is composed of a sanctuary and a single nave. The inside of the Chapel is decorated with a calvary, painted by Suzane Labatut, a student of “Fine Arts”.
The germans, who occupied the chapel during the II World War, took the bell with them. It is replaced after the occupation and baptised in honour of a soldier dead in combat. On one side of the bell we see the profile of Pierre Bouville wearing a spade and a caduceus and on the other side there is an engraving of Saint Peter holding the keys of paradise. The chapel was closed to the cult and to the public in the last quarter of the XXth century.