Explore the mysterious Basilique du Bois-Chenu, a church dedicated to the French national hero and saint Joan of Arc, where rumor has it is haunted by her spirit.
Have you ever heard the dark and mysterious tales of the haunted Basilique du Bois-Chenu? This neo -Romanesque style church in Domremy is dedicated to Joan of Arc close to her hometown and is also called Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc de Domrémy-la-Pucelle.
Bois-Chenu basilica is rumored to be a hotbed for paranormal activity where it is nestled far away from the crowd in the French countryside. Learn about its history and legends here, and find out why it’s one of the most haunted spots in Europe!
History of Basilique du Bois-Chenu
The Basilique du Bois-Chenu was originally built in 1881 close to the place where it is said that Joan of Arc started hearing voices in the hills where she was herding sheep. These visions were those that would eventually lead her to fight the English. It took a long time to build the Basilica and it wasn’t completed until 1926.
It was originally meant to be dedicated to SAint Michael as Joan of Arc wasn’t made into a saint until 1922. Since the building of the Basilica, many strange events have been reported at the church, attributed to the saint that it was dedicated to.
Saint Joan of Arc and her Prophetic Visions
But who was really Joan of Arc before she became a symbol? The young girl were a French heroine and now a patron saint of France who fought against the English in the Hundred Years War before being burnt at the stake.
Before becoming this iconic warrior of her country under God’s command, Joan of Arc was born into a peasant family in Domremy in northeastern France in the middle of the long war. She didn’t read or travel much, but was regarded as a very intelligent person and well spoken that would convince even the King of France that she was the chosen one.
In 1425 when Joan of Arc was around 13, she started having these visions from the archangel Michael that she was chosen to be guided to help save France from English attacks. But where did this girl even get this idea from? Was it really from an angel, or did she have a personal ambition to be the country’s savior?
The Prophecies about the Maiden Saviour
During Joan’s youth, a prophecy circulating in the French countryside, based on the visions of Marie Robine of Avignon, promised an armed virgin would come forth to save France from the English. Marie Robine, known also as Marie of Gascony, or of Avignon, had arrived at Avignon in 1387, on a pilgrimage in the hope of being cured of an illness.
Another prophecy, attributed to Merlin from the Arthurian Legends, stated that a virgin carrying a banner would put an end to France’s suffering.
Joan of Arc herself meant she was this promised maiden, reminding the people around her that there was a saying that France would be destroyed by a woman but would be restored by a virgin. Now the only thing that remained was to make people believe in her.
Becoming a National Hero Before Being Burnt at the Stake
Joan of Arc claimed that she was under God’s guidance and became a military leader despite her gender, her social status and gained recognition as a savior of France. Her arrival had already been predicted by multiple so-called prophets before her and when she came as a hope it was much needed as France was in turmoil politically and financially and needed a hero.
She insisted on going to Charles VII of France and he was convinced of her and sent the 17 year old girl to Orleans to fight. The battle was a French victory and helped boost the morale of the troops and the Hundred Years War ended in French victory a couple of decades later. Because of this she is also known as The Maid of Orléans.
However, all of her battles were not as successful and she failed under the siege of Paris in November 1429 and siege of La Charite in November. This made the court lose faith in her.
In 1431 Joan of Arc was put on trial for heresy, blasphemy because of wearing men’s clothes, acting upon demonic visions and not doing as the church told her. She was declared guilty and burned at the stake on 30 May in 1431, just 19 years old.
The Paranormal Phenomena at Bois-Chenu
After her death there have been a number of reports that claim they have seen the spirit of Joan of Arc around in France. Little girls in particular claimed they have spoken to her, and there are between 50 to a 100 people written reports of it.
There have been several claims that people have seen her ghost close to the Basilique du Bois-Chenu as well as around her birth home and the church she attended and started having visions.
It is said that strange noises and apparitions have been experienced throughout the grounds of Bois-Chenu, both during the day and in the dead of night. Mysterious presences have been spotted roaming around the desolate Basilique du Bois-Chenu and it’s thought that at least two ghosts are permanently resident here.
Visiting the Basilique du Bois-Chenu Today
Today, a visit to Bois-Chenu is still an experience filled with mystery and intrigue. The Basilique du Bois-Chenu is far out in the French countryside where a young and illiterate girl started out before becoming one of the most famous people in history.
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