Oratory of Our Lady of Bonnefontaine
Hut-like oratory with large barrel vault ; recessed alcove framed by a type of grey marble and engraved with, at the top, the date 1850 and protected by a fine wrought-iron grill.
Inside, a wooden statue (1m) of the Virgin with Child (held on left arm) ; at the foot of the statue an inscription: “Our Lady of Bonnefontaine pray for us”
In 1759, the historian Besson tells us, there used to be a chapel in the parish of Flumet which was devoted to the Holy Virgin and which was called Bonnefontaine. “Popular tradition has it that a monk walking alongside the stream that flows from the Bonne Fontaine went as far as its source and declared that the Holy Virgin wanted to be honoured at that spot. An oratory was built and was often rebuilt”. It was very famous throughout the region, attracting lots of pilgrims and renowned for the valuable favours obtained. “There were frequent pilgrimages to Notre Dame de Bonne Fontaine and this continues today during good weather, even if there are not so many. There are even some pilgrims who go when there is heavy snow, to ask the Virgin for some urgent grace”.
“The whole parish of Flumet sometimes processes there, especially at the start of springtime. Throughout the area, during long winter evenings, families tell tales about the amazing favours received via the intercession of Our Lady and the beneficial properties of the water from the Bonne Fontaine.”
The chapel was destroyed during the French Revolution and was not rebuilt, but later on (1850), an oratory was built from its ruins. “The existing oratory only dates back to 1850 and the statue which adorns it was solemnly inaugurated on 7 September 1851.” [extract from de “Notre Dame de Savoie” and historical facts of Abbé Grobel 1860]
L'accès à l'oratoire n'est possible qu'à partir du printemps et ce, jusqu'au mois d'octobre, en effet au-delà de ces dates les routes et les chemins sont trop enneigés pour pouvoir atteindre l'oratoire.
Office de Tourisme du Val d'Arly - Bureau de Flumet / St Nicolas la Chapelle