The Fontaney Church stands along the regional road of Perloz, just above the centre of Pont-Saint-Martin, hidden among cypresses and boxtrees, in a place rich in sources whose moisture unfortunately caused the decline of this beautiful model reproducing in miniature the plant of the Aosta Cathedral, and from which derives the toponym that means “place of the fountains”.
Built between 1590 and 1595 by Baron Pierre of Vallaise on a land owned by his family, next to the fortified house, it was dedicated to the Precious Blood and the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.
At the time when the church was built, Pont-Saint-Martin’s territory still belonged to the parishes of Perloz and Donnas. After several instances from the inhabitants and the Baron who let the church build, on 5 June 1614 the church was appointed as parish by Bishop Martini, and so remained until 1899.
The church has a rectangular plan, with three naves, divided by pillars painted with frescoes of scenes from the life of Saints. The interior paintings, in fairly good conditions, bear the date of 1726. The polygonal apse has an ambulatory which prolongs the side aisles, while the rib vaults are divided by grey stone cordons. The façade was frescoed in 1600: the Renaissance paintings represent scenes from the Holy Scriptures.
On the right side is placed the chapel of the Holy Rosary, contemporary of the rest of the building.
The presbitery is placed over a step elevated above the floor of the nave: it was once bounded by two tuff columns, still visible on the side walls.
The aisles are lightened by fifteen large windows, once provided with lead glass with images of Saint Martin (who gave the name to the municipality), the Glory of Christ, the Virgin and the twelve Apostles.
The sacristy was in communication with the bell tower, now collapsed.
In 1839 the new parish church, built in the plain, was opened: since that time the old parish church was stripped of all ornaments and gradually abandoned.
In 1904 an ordinance of the city council of Pont-Saint-Martin would even have ordered its demolition, in order to allow the expansion of the nearby cemetery. The intervention of the parish priest don Fortunato Quendoz was decisive and saved from destruction this jewel of sacred architecture: in 1910 the Regional Direction for Ancient Monuments declared the church of Fontaney as a national monument.
In 1968 were made some operations on the plasters and in 1998 the roof was reconstructed, at the end of a complex series of restoration and renovation interventions that gave again the very identity to the monument.
Since 2009 the Fontaney Church has been finally returned to the population.