Monday, 21 December 2009

Saint Symphorien Azay-le-Rideau

The town of Azay-le-Rideau has more to offer than just one of the Big 6 Châteaux, but you would never know by reading the Michelin Guide to the Loire Châteaux. It's true that the château of Azay-le-Rideau is particularly beautiful, but even a short walk through the centre of the town will provide other architectural gems that I am surprised the Michelin Guide did not feel were worth mentioning.

The church of Saint Symphorien is very close to the château, and if you park in the town's public car park, you have to walk around it to get the château entrance.

The oldest part of the church is 9th century, and it is mostly Romanesque from the 10th to 12th centuries, with additions in the 16th and 17th centuries.

There is a good article about the church here.

The 9th century Carolingian carvings on the
front of the church.
We didn't get to go inside because there was a funeral in progress the day we visited.

The back of Saint Symphorien

Dunnies out the back of the church.
I'm not sure whether these long drops are actually on church or château property, but the yard opens on to the street in a way that leads me to think they were once in use as public facilities. They are quite similar to the ones at the back of our graineterie, although these are painted a rather more upmarket looking arsenic green.



chm said...

Those Carolingian carvings are really interesting.

chm said...

Obviously the window was opened at a much later date, thus destroying part of the "kings" frieze. I wonder what the interior looks like.

Jocelyn said...

We were fascinated by this ancient church and its patchwork of bits and pieces. Lots of stories and mysteries in those stones, just as
your place has.

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