Martin M. Miles

Martin M. Miles

Posted on 12/13/2013


Photo taken on July  1, 2013



See also...

Medieval Europe Medieval Europe



Keywords

86
Notre-Dame et Saint-Junien
Lord of Lusignan
bestiary
Lusignan
Vienne
France
pilgrim
portal
dancer
fish
Bertrand Du Guesclin


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Lusignan - Notre-Dame et Saint-Junien

Lusignan - Notre-Dame et Saint-Junien
Hugh IV, Lord of Lusignan, founded this church opposite his castle in 1024. Legends tell, that the castle was built by Mélusine, a legendary water nymph, for her noble husband. I had met her already in Pathenay.

The church was completed in the early 12th century, but underwent a number of alterations over the century. The

In 1373, during the 100 Years´ War English troops seized Lusignan, during the siege and the reconquest, led by Bertrand Du Guesclin, the tower - and the vaults collapsed. Already four years later, the damages were repaired.

The most interesting work of art (for me) in Lusignan is the nothern portal, seen here. It once opened to a small priory, dependent of the Benedictian Abbey Saint-Junien in Nouaillé-Maupertuis (30kms west), that existed already in Carolingian times. The 23 carved stones around the 12 c. portal depict a medieval bestiary.

Here is the center part of the semicircle.

A runner or dancer, a standing person, a human face with a long beard, a branch with leaves (?) ( not a seahorse!), a fish, a snakelike creature with two small forelegs, a fourlegged animal, a person with a walking stick (pilgrim?).

Comments
Sonja
Sonja
Your "human face" seems to have very pointy ears!
3 years ago.
Martin M. Miles
Martin M. Miles
The ears reveal the demon, behind the friendly smile..
3 years ago.