St. Joan of Arc Chapel

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St. Joan of Arc Chapel
Joan of Arc Chapel.jpg
St. Joan of Arc Chapel, Marquette University
Basic information
Location Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Geographic coordinates 43°02′15″N 87°55′52″W / 43.037633°N 87.931014°W / 43.037633; -87.931014Coordinates: 43°02′15″N 87°55′52″W / 43.037633°N 87.931014°W / 43.037633; -87.931014
Affiliation Catholic
State Wisconsin
District Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Status Active
Architectural description
Architect(s) Unknown for original design; Jacques Couëlle, John Russell Pope, Lucien David and Earnest Bonnamy in subsequent restorations
Architectural type Chapel
Architectural style Gothic
Completed c. 15th century for original structure
May 26, 1966 in Milwaukee
Materials Stone, wood

St. Joan of Arc Chapel is a Roman Catholic chapel today located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, on the campus of Marquette University, in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. It was dedicated to Joan of Arc on May 26, 1966 after it had been moved from its previous location on Long Island, New York. It was originally built in the Rhône River Valley in France.[1]


In France[edit]

Originally named Chapelle de St. Martin de Sayssuel, the chapel was built over several generations in the French village Chasse-sur-Rhône, south of Lyon.[2] Estimates are that it was built around the 15th century. The building was abandoned after the French Revolution and fell into ruin.[3] After World War I, the young architect Jacques Couëlle rediscovered the chapel and negotiated a transfer to the Brookville, New York home of Gertrude Hill Gavin, the daughter of James J. Hill, best known as the founder of the Great Northern Railway. Couëlle went so far as to refer to the chapel as "ce monument absolument unique en son genre" (the most absolutely unique monument of its kind).[4]

The chapel was shipped to New York in 1927 where it was reconstructed. John Russell Pope oversaw the reconstruction in New York for Gavin, the new owner. There it was attached to a French Renaissance chateau, which burned down in 1962; however, the chapel was not damaged in the fire.

After Gavin died, her estate passed on to new owners, Marc B. Rojtman and his wife, who decided to present the chapel to Marquette University in 1964.[1]

At Marquette[edit]

The transfer of the chapel took more than nine months; another eight months would pass before reconstruction could begin. Lucien David and Earnest Bonnamy were responsible for the plans of this second reconstruction.[1]


St. Joan of Arc Chapel
  • When in New York, the famous Joan of Arc Stone was added to the church. According to legend, Joan of Arc prayed before a statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, standing on this stone. At the end of her prayer she would kiss the stone. Ever since, it has been colder than the stones surrounding it.
  • The tomb of Chevalier de Sautereau, a former Chatelain of Chasse (who was "Compagnon d'Armes" of Bayard) is still located in the sanctuary floor.
  • The chapel features Christian artifacts that predate the original chapel, sometimes by multiple centuries, and which have been collected and displayed at the Chapel for years, including ancient Spanish tapestries, coats of arms, various crucifixes, and even a contemporary rooftop. It is one of the few exhibits of items from antiquity at which visitors are permitted to handle or touch the artifacts.
  • The stained-glass windows are not original. Gertrude Hill Gavin, the owner of the Chapel while on her Long Island estate, commissioned the stained glass windows to be done. They were created by Charles J. Connick, finished and installed in 1929. Connick used the stained-glass windows in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in New York City, as a model for the colors of the stained-glass windows in St. Joan of Arc Chapel.


  1. ^ a b c "A History of the St. Joan of Arc Chapel". St. Joan of Arc Chapel website. Marquette University. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Mary Ann, Sullivan. "St. Joan of Arc Chapel, Marquette University". Digital Imaging Project. Bluffton University. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  3. ^ Trousil, Carrie. "The St. Joan of Arc Chapel at Milwaukee's Marquette University". - Milwaukee. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "St. Joan of Arc Chapel History". Marquette University. Retrieved 6 July 2012. 

External links[edit]