Chapel of the Templars of Laon

The Knights Templar owed their establishment in Laon to Bishop Barthélemy de Joux, then Bishop of Laon. Around 1134, he helped the Knights of the Temple to settle at the southern limit of the cathedral’s canons’ district.


Supported by numerous donations of houses, land and income, the Templars built up assets that enabled them to carry out their daily life and mission in the Holy Land.


In 1140, Louis VII exempted the Knights Templar from the payment of the censum that was due on their house in Laon, and from any custom. The Knights Templar built a mortuary chapel ” la Chapelle des Templiers ” on the model of the Madeleine Chapel of the abbey of Saint-Vincent-de-Laon.


It still houses three tombstones: the oldest of Gregory, chaplain of the Temple, another the remains of the first commander of Laon, Puisieux and Catillon, Jacques de Haute Avesnes, of the order of Saint John of Jerusalem, appointed in 1319, and the third was buried there, Charles Belotte, commander of the Hospitaller order of Saint John of Jerusalem.


The lord of Laon, Nicolas, gave them an oven in rue St Geneviève. They had other properties in the city: a house near the Porte Mortée, 25 sols de cens from the canons of Notre Dame. Around 1220, the knights charged Gregoire le Clerc to acquire in their name some neighboring plots of land. This operation, accompanied by a few alms, gave birth around 1257, to an estate of one third of a hectare, between the streets of the Trunk and the Temple. The knights acquired eleven houses, some of which were rented out.


In 1307, the tutor of Laon, Gervais de Beauvais, is arrested along with these brothers.

The Templar Chapel

In Romanesque style, this charming chapel was built around 1140 in the enclosure of the town house of the Order of the Temple, recently settled in the Laonnois. Its octagonal plan is original, with its apse, its porch surmounted by a tribune, and its wall that give it its particular silhouette.


This funeral chapel was surrounded by a cemetery intended for the burial of dignitaries and knights of the order, but also for the servants who ran this house and their family members. Excavations carried out in 2015 have uncovered numerous graves around the building, those of horsemen, women and children…


In 1319, the property of the Knights Templar passed to the Order of the Hospitallers. Under the porch and inside the chapel, a few tombstones mark the tombs of Gregory, chaplain of the Temple, Jacques de Haute Avesnes (died in 1335) and Charles Bellotte (died in 1616), commanders of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem.

In the 18th century, in addition to the chapel and a dwelling, the commandery also consisted of a second building attached to the south side of the porch. It was partially demolished around 1889 when the main museum was renovated. From 1800 to 1835, the former commandery became the headquarters of the Laon prison. When the town bought the chapel in 1835, it was in poor condition. In 1842, following various projects which did not succeed, a school, directed by brothers, is installed.


The chapel was registered as a historical monument in 1846. Restorations are immediately undertaken. Testimonies of this work were revealed during the archaeological operation (repair of the porch galleries, reconstruction of buttresses, resumption of facings). Between 1889 and 1891, the Musée de Laon was set up in the premises of the former school closed following the Jules Ferry laws of 1881-1882.


Today, the chapel is the oldest monument in the city and refers to a period that has left numerous monumental, movable and archaeological remains.

Contact information


Chapelle des Templiers de Laon 

32 Rue Georges Ermant,

02000 Laon

Closed due to renovation work