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Keywords

lion
archivolt
Wars of Religion
Poitou-Charentes
Charente-Maritime
French Revolution
Saintonge
France
facade
17
portal
Chadenac


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Chadenac - Saint-Martin

Chadenac - Saint-Martin
A priory, dependent from the (once important) Benedictian abbey Saint-Sauveur de Charroux existed here since the 12th century. At that time Saint-Martin was erected as the church for the priory.

The church got enlarged and vaulted in the 13th and 14th century, but during the Wars of Religion (1562–1598), the structure got severely damaged, so that the ceiling and the crossing dome collapsed.

The imposant western facade with the large archivolts survived the attacks. The priory was sold after the French Revolution and all buildings, but the church, got demolished. Today Saint-Martin serves as the parish church of the small village.

The main portal in the architectural style, that is typical for the Saintonge. Two blind arches flank the larger arch/doors. There is no central tympanum, but a multitude of archivolts.

The center of the left arch.

For a while I saw a human body and above it a kind of large sea-lion.

I read about this facade, that the main theme is the fight between good and evil. This would mean, there are two different species, a good one and an evil one.

Now I think this is the fight on death between two lions. A hind of the lower lion can clearly be seen to the right. What looks like the sea-lions flipper is the lion´s shoulder - the rest is broken off. The rusted fixation, that once hold that part of the lion can be seen.

The archivolt around has entiwned vines - and birds.

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