© Eglise Saint-Maximin - Thionville | Julien Frantz

Church of St‑Maximin

Place de l’Eglise. You can hear the bells ringing. The silhouette is vaguely reminiscent of Notre-Dame-de-Paris and its two towers. Is there a hunchback? It is said that Hugo Père came to Thionville. Who inspired what?

A CHURCH

A STRONGHOLD

Entirely in yellow stone from Jaumont, it draws the eye with its understated exterior. A cross, a pediment with chubby cherubs, two drapes, two medallions of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. That’s it. For specialists, its description could include its pilasters with Ionic capitals. Vast vocabulary. Its two impressive towers, used as a lookout by soldiers, accentuate the majesty of its simplicity. All that remains is for you to open the door.

DISCOVER

ITS FEATURES

Many objects were recovered from the first church, which dated back to the 12th century, and others were acquired at sales of religious property during the Revolution. The high altar was bought in 1793 at the Chartreuse de Rettel.

The 1870 War and its bombing caused a great deal of damage to the structure: roof, vaults, etc. From 1871, restoration work was undertaken resulting in the church being consecrated once again in 1883. It was during these renovation works that the large sacristy was added in the alignment of the chevet. The last decade of the 19th century was marked by the changing of the side altars, the 18th century furniture was dismantled and replaced by two new altars supplied by Haussaire.

Saint-Maximin Church also houses interesting paintings and murals from the 17th and 19th centuries which you can admire during your visit.

AN ORGAN

LISTED AS A HISTORIC MONUMENT

When you enter Saint-Maximin Church, you don’t imagine that you will find an organ with a thousand stories to tell. This listed Monument is the result of several creations.

The first organ commissioned for Thionville appeared in the former church from 1704. In 1791, in the middle of the Revolutionary period, the parish acquired the one from Saint-Clément Church in Metz! Magic happened between the two and it was love at first sight!  In a Rococo style, the organ stands out from the church’s overall sobriety. Its pastel colours recall the luxurious objects of great castles. Its small cherubs and the vegetation surrounding them transport us to the 18th century in the midst of a philosophical and humanistic boom.

IN THE FOOTSTEPS
OF CAMILLE HILAIRE

A Moselle artist, Camille Hilaire initially made a name for himself through painting before turning his hand to other techniques. This untiring worker, who died in 2004, left a huge body of work famous around the world. You can find some of it in the stained glass windows he produced for four religious buildings in the Pays Thionvillois: Saint-Nicolas Church and Saint-Joseph Church in Yutz, Saint-Maximin Church in Thionville and Saint-Luc Church in Rochonvillers.

Article from the Journal de l’Agglo Summer 2021