Martin M. Miles

Martin M. Miles

Posted on 12/13/2013


Photo taken on July  1, 2013



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Medieval Europe Medieval Europe



Keywords

pig
Notre-Dame et Saint-Junien
Lord of Lusignan
bestiary
Lusignan
Vienne
France
dromedar
camel
hare
pilgrim
portal
horse
86
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 right part of the semicircle.

A person with the walking stick (pilgrim?), a horse, a pig, a sitting or cowering person (naked?), an animal (hare?) and a dromedar.

The Lords of Lusignan knew dromedars, as some of them made careers in the Crusades. Guy of Lusignan and his younger brother Amalric were kings of the crusader state of Jerusalem and of Cyprus.

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