The Notre-Dame des Neiges chapel, erected in 1750 following a vow. Firstly built at « La Bonne Fontaine » above the « Plateau de la Challe », it soon started to deteriorate. It was rebuilt in 1891 closer to the villages.
The Notre Dame des Neiges chapel overhangs all the valley and is located at the intersection between the road to the Villard and the main town, when we go up to Moranche.
The first chapel was built in 1750 at « La Bonne Fontaine » on the « Plateau de la Chal », where there was a small oratory. It involved realizing a vow from the villagers, in gratitude for the intercession of the Virgin Mary which preserved them from an extraordinary amount of snow from February to June 1749. The first mass was celebrated in august 1750.
In a bad shape (particularly during winter 1886/1887), too small and at two hours of walk from the village (at an altitude of 1740 meters), the chapel was rebuilt on the mound of the « Chatelard », visible from the 4 villages and only 30 minutes away from the main town. The laying and the blessing of the first brick were done on the 14th of July 1889. On the 21st of may 1891, a procession followed by a mass and a solemn blessing ended the works with the Notre-Dame-Des-Neiges’s day on the 5th of august. The statue of the Immaculate conception erected on the church tower and the statue of Notre-Dame-Du-Sacré-Cœur of Issoudun adorning the front recess blessed respectively the 15th of august 1890 and the 15th of august 1891.
However, around 1918-1920, some cracks started to appear, probably caused by the explosions of the coal mine located under the chapel which exploitation was accelerated during the Great War. Since the 15th of august 1950, the masses and the pilgrimage had to happen outside the chapel, on the esplanade.
Finally, a complete renovation happened in 1970-1971.
It was renovated in 2000-2001 as well.
The ancient chapel of « La Challe » was demolished during the year 1891 and was replaced by a small oratory, now in ruins.
The pilgrimage of the 15th of august at the chapel still happens nowadays.
All year round, daily.
Vallée de Bozel Tourisme - 25/02/2020
Free of charge.