Sentiers du Patrimoine ®


Croix de l’Herminette

Informations directionnelles

Continuer sur la rue du Vexin en vous dirigeant vers Lainville-en-Vexin. Continuer tout droit pour vous rendre sur le parking. Sinon prendre la 2ème à droite pour vous rendre à l’église et à la croix du cimetière (située dans l’ancien cimetière entourant l’église).

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Herminette Cross
Boundary or memorial cross



The cross pattée, the emblem of Vexin...

This small stone cross is a common example of the twelfth and thirteenth crosses found in Vexin Français. It is one of the jewels of the region’s unpretentious - but somewhat unusual - architectural heritage. Such crosses are not unique to Vexin Français, however, as they are also to be seen in other parts of France and Europe.
There are eighteen of these crosses in the Vexin Français Regional Park, although most have been moved from their original locations (usually near churches) and many were destroyed during the Revolution.
The term ‘pattée’ refers to a cross with short arms of equal length that are wide (or flared) at the ends. There are different types of cross, and they are often located at crossroads or alongside roads, where they served as boundary stones to define plots of land or jurisdictions. The Herminette cross might have been sited on the former estate of the Vaumion or Louvière Commandery of the Knights of Malta, and might have marked the boundary of a fiefdom.



... steeped in legend

This cross commemorates the martyrdom of a young girl, Herminette, who was sentenced to be tarred with pitch and burned alive. She would only be found innocent if she could make it as far as the brook of Bernon in one piece, where she could throw herself into the water to put out her burning clothes. Legend has it that the flames were extinguished a hundred metres from the village and that Herminette was saved. The cross marks the spot, so it is said, where divine intervention brought the young woman to a halt. But another version of the legend says that Herminette did not manage to reach the stream, and that she fell and died en route at the very place where the cross now stands.





by Expression Nomade