Saint Louis Mount and the ruines of the Guémy chapel are remarkable sites
The Saint Louis Mount rises to 112 m on one of the most limestone rich hills in the Hem valley. The mount looks out to the twin towns of Ardres and Guînes to the north where the coastal Flemish plains extend to Cap Blanc-Nez in Belgium and to the naval ports and factories of Calais, Gravelines, and Dunkirk. In clear weather, the cliffs of southern England can be seen 70 km away on the other side of the channel. In the other direction, the view from Saint Louis Mount spreads across the Hem valley where villages nestle into the vast greenery.
A point of reference in the Ardres region
Built at the end of the 15th century and classified in 1913 as a natural monument, the chapel was constructed by the great Bâtard Antoine de Bourgogne in gothic style, like that of Saint Omer’s cathedral. After remaining in ruins for a long time, it was restored in 1930.
Place of many beliefs
The chapel plays a large role in local lore, as it was indeed a galic druid site. It was also where the roman emperor Septimius Severius camped his army before heading to England in the 3rd century AD and where Saint Louis founded the worship of Our Lady of Grace, which is venerated in Ardres today.
Moreover, many affirm underground tunnels run from the mount to Ardres, Tournehem, and even Calais and Saint Omer. Tunnels do actually exist, but they only lead to the limestone quarries where the Germans wanted to set up a military hospital, though its plans were never brought to fruition.