Jesuit Chapel of Saint-Omer (Pas-de-Calais)

2017 Grant of $ 250,000 with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation   In the 1300s, Saint-Omer developed into a major trading town under Flemish influence. By the 1600's it became an important seat of French and English scholarly study. In 1566, the Bishop of Saint-Omer, Gerard de Hamericourt asked the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) to lead construction of two colleges for the English and the Walloon Jesuits. The chapel was built from 1615 to 1640, with one central volume and almost no transepts, it is typical of the architecture of the Jesuits. Its monumental five-story façade and its two rear towers of 42 meters dominate the skyline. Consacrated in 1636, the Chapel of the Jesuits in and of itself constitutes a large volume of the history of Saint-Omer, Britain and even the United States. Three of America’s Founding Fathers were educated in Saint-Omer at the Jesuit College, Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence; Daniel Carroll, one of the Constitution’s two authors; and John Carroll who became America’s first Catholic Bishop and founder of Georgetown University.  Restoration: elements of the sculpted décor, stone facing and marble flooring in the interior of the chapel. The restoration of the Chapel of the Jesuits is part of a larger vision for the city’s development where heritage plays a major role. Once restored, the Chapel will house a center for architectural interpretation and heritage and host permanent and temporary exhibitions.