The Huguenots’ trail

The Protestant church in Courcelles-Chaussy © Evelyne Will-Muller

The Protestant church in Courcelles-Chaussy © Evelyne Will-Muller

The history of the area around Courcelles-Chaussy was marked by the rejection then the acceptance of Protestantism and even today the area bears the marks of those two periods.
Although the Courcelles-Chaussy church was built after the Huguenots’ period, it is best to start your tour here. A relic of the glorious German era following the annexation, this church gave a new input to the local Protestant community. Courcelles-Chaussy is also the starting point to the Huguenot trail, which recounts the community’s journey as they fled France in order to practice their religion after the revocation of the Nantes edict in 1685.


Opened in June 1994, this trail recounts the Hugenots’ saga in the Metz area during the terrible persecution from 1685 to 1789. Standing firm in their faith, they took refuge in Germany, particularly in Ludweiler, to keep holding their services, then forbidden in France. These migrants were qualified craftsmen, traders, teachers, doctors, pastors or soldiers, and considerably enriched their new country in the fields of economy, culture and spirituality. Until the eve of the French revolution, every September the Huguenots who had remained in Courcelles-Chaussy and its vicinity had to go a long way to Ludweiler – seven hours by horse – to celebrate baptisms, weddings and the Holy Communion.
Today, the route doesn’t follow the historical trail, as the coal basin industrialization and the motorway have considerably altered the landscape. It follows the old route as far as possible – with the old Roman road – and will take you through the different towns, villages and places of memory that marked this journey on the road to the freedom of religion.


In the « place du Temple » in Courcelles-Chaussy, discover this Protestant church’s beautiful architecture. William II found the former building too modest, so in 1893 he decided to build a Kaiserkirche (an imperial church) out of his personal fortune, following the plans of Paul Tornow, an architect from Berlin. The building, built in the shape of a Greek cross, is in a neo-Gothic style, typical of the Wilhelminian architecture. Inside the church is decorated with carefully worked paneling. Wooden tribunes were also set up to welcome the crowd that came with the imperial visits. The emperor had his own entrance near the choir and his own lodge, decorated with imperial patterns.


Site Internet créé par
l'agence web Adipso
localisée à Strasbourg, Alsace