One hotel, one story
A new Mercure establishment opened in the French town of Poitiers last June 1. Located in the town center, close to the station and the Théâtre Auditorium, in a unusual and unique building ... In fact, the hotel is in a former Jesuit chapel.
Long ago, there was … La chapelle du Gesù*
Built in 1852 by the French architect, Magloire Tournesac, the Jesuit "chapel" was consecrated by Monseigneur Pie, bishop of Poitiers, in the name of Jesus and Notre-Dame de Bon-Secours (Our Lady of Good Help) on June 20, 1854. With its tall, imposing spire, this landmark of Poitiers can be admired for miles around. In its early days, it housed a school then many different congregations, such as the Adoration Nocturne (Nocturnal Adoration), the Enfants de Marie (Children of Mary), the Demoiselles de Magasins (shop girls), the Ouvrières (women workers) and the Pères de Famille (fathers’ group).
In 1870, it was no longer used for religious purposes.
In 1950, it was acquired by the Vienne region with the aim of using it to hold the archives previously stored at the Prefecture. The alteration work was overseen by the architect Boudoin. For 50 years, it would be known as the place where the region’s archives were kept and stored.
In 2010, the chapelle du Gesù was facing a new destiny: to become a truly exceptional hotel. Due to the complex nature of this building and the technical considerations involved, it would take two years of relentless work to complete this remarkable project.
In 2012, the dream becomes a reality. The challenge has been met. The chapelle du Gesù is ready to receive its guests in a unique and incomparable setting. It became a hotel.
From place of worship to hotel: a bold and ambitious project
Nothing can compare with the unique charm of this hotel. Rich in history, it has a soul about it that is quite unusual and exquisitely engaging. This is not just a place to stop off. It is a place that takes you on a journey to the past with a breath of modernity. It is an escape to the heart of the chapelle du Gesù, a gem of modern architecture that goes back to the 19th century. You can stay here for a meal or for a night. And if you fall in love with it, you can stay even longer…
Ideally located in the town centre, close to the train station and just a few steps away from the Théâtre Auditorium de Poitiers, the Hôtel**** Mercure Poitiers Centre is a place like no other.
This monumental project – to create a hotel within a church – was taken on by the architect François Pin. This grand design is one of the most spectacular ever to have taken shape in the heart of Poitiers, coinciding with the complete revamping of the town itself. It will become, without a doubt, a place forever associated with this town.
François Pin chose a soft approach, opting for an elegant white concrete for most of the structures. Pure and immaculate, it is perfectly in keeping with the soul of this place and gives a calm and dreamy ambiance, a human warmth and serenity.
By combining a hotel and restaurant, he was able to alternate atmospheres, creating a perfectly balanced contrast between the huge public areas and the smaller, private rooms.