Church of St. Roch - La Gurraz: Free entry
Chef-Lieu, 73640, Villaroger
From 18/07 to 31/08/2023, every Tuesday and Thursday between 3 pm and 5 pm.
Jean-Pierre and Joseph Borrellet, natives of La Gurrez who had become wealthy traders in Turin, had this church and presbytery built, as well as the 25-metre bell tower that can be seen protruding from the glacier of Mont Pourri from a distance. An invitation to step inside.
Contrary to the typical scenario, this building did not replace a former church. Admittedly, the parish of La Gurraz was not created until 1714, by joining together the village of La Gurraz, within the parish of Villaroger, and La Savine, a hamlet in the parish of Sainte-Foy. At the back of its chancel, a painting realised by J-B. Cavalière du Cameau in 1839 decorates the 18th-century main altarpiece. This painting depicts an Assumption in the presence of St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Théodule (bishop of Sion in Valais and priest of the new church in 1714) and St. Roch, patron saint of the parish. Two twisted columns decorated with vine branches support an entablature on which there is a painting of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows. Contemplating this catechism in images, the rood beam, on which Christ is surrounded by the Virgin and by St. John, separates the nave from the chancel. Another native of Turin, Zamorra, also realised the painting of the left-hand altarpiece in the 18th century, depicting St. Joseph borne aloft by the clouds, with St. Anthony of Cordoba and St. Peter below him. On the Rosary altarpiece in the opposite wing of the transept, he also illustrated a Madonna with Child giving the Rosary to St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Sienna. Despite the simplicity of its decoration, this small mountain church is filled with items of interest. It has retained its pulpit and, especially, its wrought iron communion table - a barrier that separates the nave from the chancel. This item of furniture has unfortunately disappeared from most other churches.