Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux

Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux


Founded in 2006, the Observatoire du Patrimoine Religieux has over 250 members throughout France. This organisation is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of France’s Religious Heritage, which consists of over 90,000 sites. Their mission includes three goals: taking inventory of religious heritage, raising awareness of religious heritage, and advising policy makers about religious heritage. They maintain an index of 71,270 religious buildings of all religions and sects that is open to the public.

They also maintain a watch list which monitors restoration projects and also the destruction and alterations of buildings. Their daily contacts, throughout France, with public and private officials of religious buildings, as well as with the local, national or international press, allow them to make everyone aware of the imperative need to safeguard this heritage. Finally, the organisation advises elected officials in France, who are in charge of nearly 42,000 religious buildings.



The organisation frequently participates in the protection of religious heritage sites. An example of one of their projects is that of the former church of Dreuil Hamel in the village of Airaines. The organisation acquired this church that was in a poor condition and restored it.


Ma Pierre à l’Edifice was a competition aimed at the detailed study and three-dimensional modeling of monumental buildings of French heritage. It raised the awareness of middle and high school students  in their knowledge of heritage, encourages scientific and technological vocations and promotes the discovery of new collaborative computer modeling practices.


For more than 25 years, the Grand Prix Pèlerin du patrimoine has rewarded young artisans and restoration work on buildings, religious or not, objects, furniture, organs, etc. The OPR participates in its annual jury. The observatory is associated with the projects of hundreds of candidates each year who wish to work in the service of small heritage, and is delighted to reward the most exemplary.


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