Martin M. Miles

Martin M. Miles

Posted on 12/14/2013

Photo taken on July  1, 2013

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style saintonge
threshing flail

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Saint-Fort-sur-Gironde - Saint-Fortunat

Saint-Fort-sur-Gironde - Saint-Fortunat
A harbour and a settlement existed here during Roman times already. A parish and a church Saint-Fortunat is mentioned in 1136, when Pope Innocent II confirmed a donation of the Abbey La Chaise-Dieu (Haute Loire).

The erection of the church, seen today, started within the 12th century, but the structure got severely damaged during the 100 Years´ War and got rebuilt in Gothic-, later altered in Renaissance-style. The church is rather large for a small town with a population of less than 900.

The Romanesque facade dating back to the 12th century is undamaged and very complete, what is a surprise, as the village was a stronghold of the Protestants.

The stone, used by the carvers in the Saintong end of the 12 century, was very soft. So very elaborate works were possible. Due to the softness, some of the works are pretty weathered meanwhile.

Farmers working with sickles are a common icon often seen in "monthly labours" friezes. Here is one with a threshing flail on his way back home.