Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Our Lady of Monton - Puy-de-Dome - Auvergne

This page was updated on: Saturday, January 4, 2020 at: 3:58 pm

Our Lady of Monton - Monumental statue of the Virgin Mary

Our Lady of Monton overlooks Monton, a small village in the outskirts of Clermont-Ferrand.

Perched atop the Butte de Monton, it boasts spectacular views of the Monts d'Auvergne and the Auvergne capital.

The 21m tall statue is the fourth tallest in France, and can be seen from afar.

Our Lady of Monton was built in response to a movement of piety that took shape several decades after the French Revolution.

Many people indeed felt the need to erect a monument as an expiation for the atrocities that were committed during this tragic period of the history of France.

Two Capuchin priests, Théodore and Flavien, therefore preached a mission following the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1864 by Pope Pius IX.

The inhabitants of Monton launched a subscription in order to fund the construction the statue.

Our Lady of Monton is therefore the property of the village.

Aristide Belloc sculpted his statue from the white stone from Beaucaire.

He represented the crowned Virgin and Child trampling a snake, the symbol of evil.

The statue was inaugurated on August 22, 1869 and an annual pilgrimage has since taken place on the last weekend of August.

Our Lady of Monton and the gun

You're probably wondering why there is a gun at the foot of the statue!

This German howitzer,  produced in 1900 in Spandau in the outskirts of Berlin, is one of many war trophies seized during WWI and shared among the French cities after war.

The gun remained in place until 1940.

A priest refugee from Northern France, indeed, warned the inhabitants of Monton about potential retaliation if the Germans were to discover it and take offense of its presence.

The villagers therefore removed the wheels and buried the gun.

However, the hole proved too shallow as the gun’s axle was left exposed.

Fortunately, it didn’t catch any German's attention during the war.

The gun was unearthed in 1954 and replaced at the foot of Our Lady of Monton.

However, the construction of its current base (in 1992) proved a bit tricky, as the gun needed to be lifted by a crane to allow for the work.

This was also a perfect opportunity to check its weight, a mere 4.200 kg!

Department of Puy-de-Dôme
Coordinates: Lat 45.677714 - Long 3.169051

Related article: Have you yet read about the amazing troglodyte dwellings in Monton?

Credits: photos and source article by Jean Piludu - Translated and edited by and for TravelFranceOnline - Photo Wikimedia Commons: header
Tournemire castle and church in Cantal

June 25 2020

Tournemire, one of the most beautiful villages in France

Tournemire, one of the most beautiful villages in France, nestled in the heart of the Auvergne Volcanoes Natural Park in the Cantal department
Collegiate Church of St Laurent d'Auzon

June 14 2020

Collegiate Church of St Laurent d’Auzon in Auvergne

Collegiate Church of St Laurent d'Auzon, a gem of Auvergne Romanesque architecture and a major landmark of the Petite Cité de Caractère of Auzon
Picturesque village of Auzon, Petite Cité de Caractère in Auvergne

November 15 2019

Auzon, Petite Cité de Caractère in Auvergne

Auzon, a picturesque medieval town of Auvergne boasts an exceptional heritage that earned it the ranking of Petite Cité de Caractère
The Pont du Diable's largest arch - Saint-André-de-Chalencon i

March 17 2019

Pont du Diable medieval bridge in Chalencon

The Lord of Chalencon built the Pont du Diable – Devil’s Bridge in the 10th century to ease the transport of goods between his castle and the Rhône Valley

Sign up to our newsletter

Travel France Online will use the information you provide on this form to keep in touch with you and to provide updates via our newsletter. By selecting the boxes on the form you confirm your acceptance to receive our newsletter.

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by Contacting Us

We will treat your information with respect. For more information please visit our privacy policy page