This stunning icon of the Collioure bay is viewable from all around the harbour and is one of the most photographed buildings in this little village. Located right between the Boramar and Saint Vincent beaches, since it is built into the sea, provides a fabulous experience to swim in the water and look up at the terrific view of the stonewalls and looming tower.
The church was originally built in 1684 and over time was reconstructed to include the ancient lighthouse that became its bell tower. You can see the evolution of the structure by the variety of materials used and the different colours of stones showing the increase in height as it was changed over the years. It was designed in the style of Southern Gothic (meaning it was Gothic in style however specific to the South of France).
Inside the church, it initially looks simple but upon closer inspection one will see many intricate alters along the walls dating back to the very early 1700’s. It is worth taking a close look at the adornments as they are beautifully preserved. In the entrance is a font made in 1693 from red marble from Villefranche. The bottom of the font is decorated with small fish swimming in the water.
The main alter is covered in gold leaf and really is quite spectacular. Constructed with three floors, it was hand carved by a Catalan sculptor named Joseph Sunyer in 1698 and deserves some time to ponder the beautiful handiwork.
Notre Dame des Anges is still a functioning church. You hear the bells chime during the day and on Sunday and Wednesday you will hear a lovely melody calling people to mass. Be sure to take some time to visit this special spot.