Chapelle de Gotty – also a bus stop

Photo of the Chapelle de Gotty in La Clusaz, FranceBetween the main village of La Clusaz and the l’Etale area lies the Chapelle de Gotty. This pretty little chapel is far more accessible than the previous chapel, I wrote about, the well-hidden Chapelle du Parc, because it’s on a main road and it doubles as a bus stop.

Yes, if you feel the need to get close to God, just jump on number 4, 5 or 6 La Clusaz bus and wait for the voice to say “Prochaine arret, Chapelle de Gotty”, and take a few steps off the bus directly to the door of the chapel. You can see it’s not very far away from the centre of La Clusaz: that sign on the left says “La Clusaz” with a strike through it, which means the village of La Clusaz ends right there. The chapel is just inside the village.

The Chapelle de Gotty was built in 1691 by a guy called Pierre Masson. Now, at first glance, this might seem like a typical French name. The French word, ‘maçon‘, is pronounced the same way as Pierre’s surname, and means ‘mason’ or ‘builder’. ‘Pierre‘ in French means ‘stone’, so if you were to hear someone say that ‘pierre maçon‘ built the chapel, it would sound like a stone mason had made the chapel. His name could not get more appropriate than that.

Less interestingly, but in case you want to know actual facts instead of plays on words, the chapel is dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Peter.

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I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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5 comments on “Chapelle de Gotty – also a bus stop
  1. jason says:

    Very interesting to read this as I’m doing some research on the early Freemasons at the moment. Are there any masonic symbols in the church such as the square or compasses? In 1691 the masons were mostly operative, so there’s a chance the Freemasons as they were then were involved with the church, particularly given the name of the gentleman who built it.

  2. Dave says:

    Seems very logical to me…many’s the time that I have prayed that a bus would come along!

  3. Wendy says:

    Jason, when I’m next up that way, I’ll have a look for you. Dave, so very, very true! 🙂

  4. Mary Ann says:

    You’d have to be an American to get yet another chuckle from your post: “Perry Mason” is a fictional criminal defense attorney/detective created by American author Erle Stanley Gardner, and was the basis for a popular TV show in the late 50’s to mid-60’s starring Raymond Burr. So, when I saw the name “Pierre Masson,” it immediately reminded me of the hokey, intense attorney (who ALWAYS won his clients’ case) on the Perry Mason re-runs from my childhood! Perhaps the 17th century builder Pierre Masson was somehow the inspiration for the ever-successful 20th century defense attorney supreme, Perry Mason??

  5. Wendy says:

    Mary Ann, I remember watching Perry Mason when I was a kid in Australia! I’m now imagining the French alternative – the story of a stone mason who fixes up poorly-carried-out work of other stone masons, discovering crime along the way!

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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