The history of l’Observance
Situated in the old neighbourhood of ‘l’Eqteil’, the history of this building has been related to the ‘Collégiale Notre Dame du Miracle’. On the 24th of March 1320 a young boy, accused by his mother to have committed a crime « against nature », was convicted to be burned alive.
When he was put on the woodpile he turned towards the Statue of the Virgin and begged. The virgin had defeated its links and the young boy came out of the flames. He was put again on the woodpile and the miracle happened for the second time. From this moment on the spot, the street and even the door (Saint-Roch) got the name of the ‘Miracles’. A gothic church, Notre-Dame des Miracles, was constructed in 1326 because Jean XXII had accepted this miracle.
Afterwards this chapel was transformed into a monastery for the ‘Repenties’, a part of ‘Sainte-Marie L’Égyptienne’. In 1575, this place was occupied by the ‘Minimes’, the name of the monastic order founded by ‘Saint-François de Paule’ in 1452 at Cosenza, and introduced in France by Louis XI. Richelieu, during his exile to Avignon from the 15th of May 1618 till the 7th of March 1619, passed through the city (he lived in hotel de Beaumont, which he had bought, situated on the ‘rue de la Croix’). The façade was redone in 1745.
The ‘Minimes’ went away after the ‘Révolution’.
Since then, the church was sold like a national property and had multiple
assignments: a barrack, a horticulturiste, a factory of faucets and, since about 1930, a factory of hand pumps, named Grillot.