Let yourself be surprised by the elegance and history of the Saint-Martin Church, located at the top of the Doue hillock, offering an exceptional panorama over the Valleys of the 2 Morin!
Closure in August
13 rue de l’Eglise
The originality of the Saint Martin church of Doue lies in its location, on a hillock 180 m above the sea.
Nicknamed “The Lighthouse of the Brie“, the place promises a grandiose view over the surrounding countryside, between fertile fields and hundred-year-old lime trees!
Classified as a Historic Monument in 1922, the present church was built in the Gothic period, from the 13th to the 16th century.
The oldest text concerning the parish of Doue dates from 1107, attesting to the presence of a religious building at that time.
The walls are lightened by openings of geminated bays topped with roses. This gives this rural church an unexpected architectural elegance and great luminosity.
This one, desired by the master builder, expresses the evolution of the thinking of this period: the church, the house of God, was to shine with the light of heaven and be open to the outside world.
In the choir and evoking the Passion of Christ, the only stained glass window dating from the 16th century remains.
On top of the columns, you can admire capitals with multiple themes: lions, usurers, Baphomet, bears holding a coat of arms (probably the one of the Juvenal de Doue lordly family), or this mysterious feminine character watching the horizon.
In the 1960s, the situation was considered very serious as regards the general state of the church, which even threatened to collapse.
An unprecedented mobilization of the municipality and the inhabitants, Dovinsiens and Dovinsiennes, will then be organized in favour of this unique heritage: sending 61 000 awareness leaflets, creation of the Association for the Safeguarding of the Church of Doue, organization of events and donations will make it possible to concretize major work and save the monument!
In 2010 and 2011, a new restoration programme was carried out, including the consolidation of the exterior and the restoration of the interior, with a new floor in the entire nave and the construction of an access ramp for people with reduced mobility.
Legends and origins of the Doue hillock:
According to legend, Gargantua, a mischievous giant, wanted to divert the course of the Petit Morin river. He took the earth needed to shape the banks in a place that would become the Coulommiers basin, filled his sack with it, and set off towards the river. Unfortunately, he had not adjusted his braces properly and his sack fell over on the way. This is how the butte de Doue was born.
Actually, the mound of Doue is composed of sand and limestone, and was formed in the Tertiary period, when the sea withdrew.
The hillock is today isolated and free of any habitation, but this was not always the case.
It does appear to have been occupied in the Neolithic period, as evidenced by articles in the bulletin of the French Prehistoric Society, and notable archaeological finds such as a burial site, polished flints in the shape of a knife and an axe made of polished stone and stag antlers.
Then to the Gallo-Roman period thanks to the remains of a dwelling, various shards of utilitarian objects, and the existence of a 130 m deep well in front of the church!
The site is exposed and subject to the weather. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the spire was struck and destroyed several times by lightning.
It is therefore assumed that this phenomenon also occurred in previous centuries, leading to the desertion of the hillock for quieter places below.
Classified as a “Village de Caractère” since December 2018, the commune of Doue is made up of the main town and several hamlets, scattered around the foot of the hillock.
Before or after your visit, you will be able to enjoy the view over the whole valley, thanks to the presence of picnic tables… for a break or for a good panoramic meal.
And to enjoy the landscapes of the Valleys of the 2 Morin even more, we invite you to discover 2 hikes labelled by the French Federation of Hiking: “Around Doue“, of a distance of 9km and of easy level and “From the Doue hillock to the forest“, of a distance of 6,2km and of easy level.
The cultural highlight not to be missed:
– In September, great annual classical music concert, organised since 1980.
Programme in progress.
Schedules, Welcome conditions & Prices
• Opening of the church: from April to July and from September to 1 November: each Sunday afternoon.
• Closure in August.
• Open all year round for groups, by appointment only.
• Free access all year long to the Doue hillock.
For your safety, welcome conditions are specially set up:
• Direction of the visit respecting social distancing.
• Wearing of the mask is obligatory in the church.
• Free access.
Rdv 13 rue de l’Eglise, 77510 Doue.
00 33 1 64 20 96 56 or 00 33 1 64 20 99 39