Martin M. Miles

Martin M. Miles

Posted on 05/16/2014


Photo taken on August  1, 2013



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Keywords

lion
Vallée des Fresques
Louis the Pious
Benedict of Aniane
frescoe
Poitou-Charentes
Gartempe
Saint-Savin
André Malraux
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Charlemagne
Vienne
France
crypt
chalice
86
bird
Louis le Pieux


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Saint-Savin - Saint-Savin

Saint-Savin - Saint-Savin
It is unknown when this important abbey was founded here. Legends tell, that Charlemagne was involved as well as his son Louis the Pious and Benedict of Aniane.

The church was erected from about 1050 on. As in the crypt of the large church the relics of St. Savin and St. Cyprian were displayed, a large ambulatory with five radial chapels was added for the many pilgrims. The church burnt down during the Hundred Years' War, but got rebuilt and reconstructed in the 17th and 19th century.

As many medieval frescoes and murals have survived here since 1983 the "Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe" has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are about 400m² of frescoes, indeed something like a "picture book". André Malraux hailed this as "the Sistine Chapel of the Romanesque period".

The few carvings I saw inside the crypt under the choir are probably some decades older than the capitals of the nave. They are of course smaller and the carving style is less sophisticated.

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