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Romanesque Art

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Eglise Sainte-Radegonde de Talmont

Romanesque Art in Saintonge

The region of Poitou-Charentes bears a rich testimony to the religious art of the 11th and 12th centuries

Romanesque Art, the region bears a rich testimony to the religious art of the 11th and 12th centuries. After the year one thousand, hundreds of churches were built, in particular on the roads of Santiago de Compostela. This construction was started in the11th century and continued in the12th century. The limestone which is easy to work with, aided the creativity and the skill of the masons and the sculptors.

The Lozay rest area on the A10 route

Romanesque art on the autoroute, what a shortcut! The rest area of Lozay, accessible from the A10 when going south, is situated about twenty kilometres after the exit number 33 Surgères. Besides road signs, it distinguishes itself by displaying a lantern for the dead built at the edge of the autoroute just before the access to the rest area. It is also possible to reach it from Lozay by the D107 road.
It is there that the Company of the Highways of the South of France and the General Council Charente of Maritime have created a free, open air museum, on the theme of the Romanesque Art in Saintonge.
All the reproductions were created by skilled French craftsmen following the old traditional methods.
The presentation is well organized and attractively displayed so that one can easily understand and enjoy the architecture and the sculptures.
One can also admire, a wide selection of masterpieces, in detail, on the floor.
There is no need for binoculars either, to see the details of sculptures which are placed higher up !
Leaflets are available for visitors which give detailed itineraries to follow by car, bicycle or on foot.

The Romanesque Art Centre in Saint-Palais-sur-Mer

The ‘Pôle d’Art Roman’, to be found in the 12th century Romanesque church, is worth a visit to get acquainted with the Romanesque Art in Saintonge. It is situated higher up in the town, about three hundred metres from the beach. You just have to take, on the right-hand side of the City hall, the ‘rue de l’Eglise’ (Church street). You arrive first of all at the new church, built in 1910-1911 with architecture inspired by the Romanesque churches. Inside, you will find a remarkable framework in the shape of an inverted hull.
The old church is separated from the new one by the old cemetery. This 12th century church, heightened in the 18th century when the bell tower was reconstructed as a navigational point, was falling into ruin in the 90s. It was splendidly restored between 1994 and 1997 and opened again to the public.
A wooden staircase was built leading to the upper floor of the church, from which there is a magnificent panoramic view of the estuary of the Gironde and the forest.

Art Roman sur l'aire de Lozay
Art Roman sur l'aire de Lozay
le vieux clocher de Saint-Palais-sur-Mer
 

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