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La Chapelle Saint Blaise

The Saint‑Blaise des Simples Chapel dates back to the 12th century. Being the remains of a lazaret, it got through centuries to eventually be reborn unexpectedly under Jean Cocteau's paintbrush, for whom it is now the grave.

A 12th century lazaret

The St‑Blaise's Chapel is the unique witness of a leprosy from the 12th century. Saint Blaise was known as a healer and to treat men and animals through prayers but mostly thanks to medicinal plants called simples.

Well away from the village, this lazaret hosted lepers until the 16th century.
In the early 18th century, the building being inhabited and falling into disrepair, they were torn down.
There was only the chapel left, with its noble and slender figure, sole witness of the medieval misfortune.

The sleeping chapel

Sold during the Revolution, it remained empty and forgotten as « a poor woman squatting by the roadside », surrounded by medicinal plants fields which spread their smells over the little town of Milly.

The Rebirth

In the late 1950s, a few leading figures in town, guided by the mayor Pierre Darbonne, thought about renovating the chapel. They entrusted Jean Cocteau, very touched by this sleeping beauty, with artistic restoration of the walls.
The poet picked the simples as the decorating theme.

On a proposal from the National Commission of historical monuments, the Minister for Culture and Communication has, by order of May 6th 2015, ranked the St‑Blaise's Chapel historical monument.

Following a decision from the Milly-la-Forêt town council, taken on June 30th 2015, approval has been given to the Mayor to apply for a grant for a preliminary study to restore the frescos inside the Chapel.