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Cairanne Cultural Heritage

Notre Dame des Excés Chapel (1632)

The plague : a real curse.
In addition to the misfortunes of ancient times, war, famine, religious conflicts, are the plague epidemics. Marseilles gateway to the Middle East, is the starting point of plague origin. The plague spreads along the trade routes of the Rhone and the Durance rivers. All along three centuries, there are seventeen alerts or epidemics in the Comtat Venaissin. Every epidemic kills up to 20% of the population. The 1631 epidemic exceptionally comes from the North. In1628, Lyon is hit,then Valence in 1629 the Comtat Venaissin and Cairanne in 1631. Over 150 inhabitants out of 800 lose their lives. Up to the XXe century, medicine is helpless. So the inhabitants, enable to control the epidemic, take refuge in faith. Hence the construction of Notre Dame des Excés chapel in 1632 after the end of the epidemic. Only in 1894, the origin and transmission of the plague disease are discovered : a bacillus transmitted by of a rat flea bite.

Excés : from latin Excessus which means dead