Notre Dame de l’Assomption in Terre-de-Haut: Uncommon Attraction
It was a little past 5:00pm. I had just returned my scooter to Chez Rodolphe on the main road into the center of Fond-du-Curé, the primary village in Terre-de-Haut. A long and endlessly rewarding day exploring this gem of an islet in the sublime Les Saintes section of the Guadeloupe archipelago was drawing to a close. A sunset toast of rhum vieux awaited me at Ô Bar just a short walk toward the ferry dock that would take me back to Basse-Terre, one of the two main Guadeloupe islands, the next day. On the way, though, I couldn’t help but stop and admire Notre Dame de l’Assomption.
The charming church, also known as Le Eglise de Terre-de-Haut, stands out among its surrounding souvenir shops, eateries, and bars. Its grand (for the area) stairs and weathered French Baroque stone facade attest to a long and notable history.
La Notre Dame de l’Assomption was built in the 19th century. The inspiration for its name, though, stems much further back in time.
As the story goes, the church was named in honor of a major French victory over British invaders. The date of the battle –August 15, 1666 – coincides with the traditional Catholic observance of the Assumption of Mary. This explains the name affixed to the quaint little church.
Our-Lady-Of-Assumption remains the patron saint of Terre-de-Haut to this day. August 15th also marks the island’s biggest celebrations of the year.
Sounds like a great reason to make a late-summer return visit to la Notre Dame de l’Assomption and Terre-de-Haut, right..?