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From 1875 to the present day
The history of Les Franciscaines

Many pages of the history of les Franciscaines have been written since 1875 in Deauville; through events, projects or sometimes necessities, the buildings have already undergone various transformations. Here are some chronological landmarks.t

The birth of Les Franciscaines

Born into a family from the Somme, Adèle, Joséphine and Marie-Antoinette Mérigault arrived in Normandy following their father, a customs captain in Dives and then Trouville. He retired to Paris but, after his death, the three sisters decided to return to Trouville.

Pious, they decide to get involved in charitable works and decide to found a hospital for sailors and also to help the orphans of sailors missing at sea.

They turned in 1875 to Deauville, which then had free land on both sides of the church.

An orphanage for sailors' daughters

After having built the first building, they transformed their project into an orphanage for sailors' daughters and the Franciscan nuns of Peru agreed to take care of it. Four sisters arrived on June 29, 1878. From the outset, they had to take care of about ten girls.

After a difficult beginning, the sisters received the agreement of Monsignor Hugonin, Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux in 1881 to found the Franciscan community of Notre-Dame de la Pitié in Deauville.

© Fonds Hamel
St. Joseph's Orphanage

The orphanage officially takes the nameSt. Joseph's Orphanage. The sisters' chapel, the porch, the hall and a refectory annexed to the orphanage are built.

The Great War

The orphanage is transformed into an auxiliary hospital. It is then fully equipped by the Red Cross and in 1916 it specializes in ophthalmology.

After treating more than a thousand wounded, the hospital closed on January 1, 1919 and resumed its function as an orphanage. With the large surplus of medical equipment belonging to the Red Cross, the local committee founded a dispensary in the orphanage.

© Collection APCTF
The Joan of Arc Room

Construction of the Jeanne d'Arc Hall, an auditorium and movie theatre, at the back of the main building.

© Artaud Père et fils éditions
Creation of the clinic

Les Franciscaines decide to build a clinic. It had 28 beds distributed between the mezzanine and the first floor. Sisters occupied the cells under the roof.

© Fonds Hamel
War & Occupation

Les Franciscaines decide to build a clinic. More than a hundred nuns take charge of the dispensary, which remained in operation throughout the war and the German occupation.

Creation of a children's and primary school for girls. Creation of a housekeeping school for girls and three sections: Certificate of studies, CAP housekeeping, CAP sewing.

© Collection APCTD
Collège & Lycée Saint-Joseph

The orphanage became a vocational school, under contract with the State.

A new convent

A new convent and chapel were built for the sisters (between 2008 and 2010) on the site of the vegetable garden. Several stained glass windows, including the large stained glass window of the old chapel, were removed and integrated into this new building.

© Delphine Barré

On December 15, 2011, the sisters will leave the historic building and move into the new convent.

© Sandrine Boyer Engel
Acquisition by the City

The City of Deauville expresses its interest in acquiring the convent, the Bestia-Monrival pavilion and the chaplaincy of the Congregation of les Franciscaines in Deauville.

2013, the Deauville Photographic Residence Festival Planche(s) Contact invests the ground floor rooms and the chapel, where two performances of Gogol's "Diary of a Madman" are also given (2014).

© Stéphanie Chéron
Competition the cultural project

Submission of the architectural, technical and scenographic program of the competition for the Master of Works for the realization of a cultural facility on the former site of the Congregation of les Franciscaines in Deauville.

TheMoatti & Rivière agency is the winner of the architectural competition in June 2015.

© Moatti Rivière
Beginning of the building site

The Franciscan Shipyard has been launched and work will begin in January 2018.

Spring 2021
Opening to the public

Les Franciscaines open to the public and present their inaugural exhibition: On the Roads to Paradise.

Garden 20 © Galerie Françoise Paviot Aki Lumi