In Saint bris des bois (5 km Domain)
Fontdouce Abbey :
Founded in 1111 the abbey is located in a quiet green valley. Rare occurrence in the region, it combines Romanesque chapels in brighter Gothic chapter house and parlor.
Restored over 40 years Fontdouce annually organizes exhibitions, concerts, singing courses and many other activities . Not to mention the Classic and Jazz Festival which is held during the month of August.
Opening hours: April to November : 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
July-August : 10h – 19h
Prices : Adult: 6 € – Reduced price: € 4 – 7A18 of years : 2.50 €
Tours for children with game booklet
Group visits : 4 € / pers. (> 10 pers.)
17770 Saint Bris des Bois
Tel: 05 46 74 77 08
A.Michel @ fontdouce.com
In SAINTES (15 km Domain)
The « Abbaye aux Dames » , THE CITY MUSIC :
At Saintes, the Abbaye aux Dames is the musical city . The Festival de Saintes , the Young Orchestra Atlantic , an arts education program and the historic site of the abbey are the pillars and the radiation source .
Founded by Agnes of Burgundy and her husband Geoffrey Martel , Count of Anjou, the Abbaye aux Dames is the first female monastery of Saintonge.
The abbess who led the Abbey had the title of » Lady Saints . » Here were educated young noblewomen and those we wanted exclude inheritances. Consecrated in 1047, the abbey, dedicated to the rule of Saint -Benoit, is richly endowed with particular salt marshes . It radiates the Saintonge for eight centuries and count to one hundred religious . The Hundred Years’ War causes the destruction of a part of the cloister . In the sixteenth century , the Huguenots destroy the pediment but they are two successive fires in 1608 and 1648 causing severe damage . The monastic buildings were rebuilt under the authority of one of the great abbesses , Françoise de Foix. Turned into a prison during the Revolution, then barracks under the Empire, the abbey was made ??for worship in 1939. Now restored, it is the scene of an intense cultural life : music conservatory Atlantic Youth Orchestra and the famous music festival of Saintes which takes place every year in July .
church « Notre-Dame » :
It is one of the great Romanesque buildings of Saintonge. The front has a carved program of great interest. The arches richly decorated portal to deliver a message of hope for the nuns . We find great Christian symbols , the hand of God blessing those who enter the church , lamb crucifer , the massacre of the innocents and the elders of the Apocalypse . The four arches are separated by Tori richly carved . On the capitals alternate scenes struggle between men, birds and lions, in a very traditional composition Saintonge. Inside, the building is built on a basilica plan . It has a shallow choir and nave was probably covered with two large domes. The bell tower which rises to the crossing is particularly noteworthy. It consists of two levels, crowned with a conical spire scaly stone .
The long main building was rebuilt after a fire in the seventeenth century is south of the church. The simple lines are accentuated by the white limestone Saintonge . The visit of these buildings to discover the old cells of the nuns , the chapter house and an exhibition on the history of the abbey . It gives access to the tower to admire the beautiful Romanesque and a unique view of the city and its heritage.
CHURCH ST EUTROPE :
World Heritage of Humanity by Unesco under » Ways of Saint Jacques de Compostela » , St. Eutropius church is especially famous for its crypt , with its squat pillars topped by capitals with plant motifs and floral .
It is dedicated to St. Eutropius , first bishop of Saintes, whose sarcophagus is in the crypt. It was consecrated by Pope Urban II in 1096 .
Built by Cluny monks , it soon became a place of pilgrimage on the Way of Saint Jacques de Compostela and a big focus of religious life and artistic creation . Architecture with two superposed choruses allow not to disturb the peace of the monks and respond to the influx of pilgrims , anybody could live his life … In 1803 , the prefect of the time , noting the poor condition of the roof rather than make repairs ordered the demolition of the nave.
Today, the church has only a high Romanesque choir extended the Gothic transept and decorated with beautiful historiated capitals : Daniel in the lions’ den, the weighing of souls .
The crypt exudes a striking impression . It consists of a choir with ambulatory and three apses . Many capitals with floral motifs are composed of large sheets of water terminated by a button or scroll. In the center of the building, the sarcophagus of St. Eutropius wearing a simple inscription » Evtropivs » .
Hours: Visit the church , crypt and tower access to an unobstructed view of the city and the Gallo-Roman amphitheater . BOOK TOUR
From June 30th to September 2nd Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30 – Duration: 1:00 From: front of the church (tickets on site 15 minutes before departure
Prices : Adult € 6 – free up to 16 years
CHURCH OF SAINT EUTROPE
Saint Eutropius ,
05 46 74 23 82
In RETAUD (30 km Domain)
CHURCH ST TROJAN :
The church of Saint -Trojan, twelfth and fifteenth centuries is one of the most ornate .
Masons and sculptors here have demonstrated their virtuosity in both devices herringbone Scale in the abundance and diversity of sculptures.
Inside, the church consists of a nave of three bays , a fourth bay back to the fifteenth century over which rises an octagonal tower . The heart ends with an apse in the oven . The walls of the apse are organized around five large arches pierced with windows.
The facade is punctuated by columns buttresses supporting a vibrant and metopes corbels cornice. The sanctuary reveals a beautiful series of grotesque that frolic on the brackets .
In SABLONCEAUX (50 km Domain)
ABBEY NOTRE- DAME DE SABLONCEAUX :
This Cistercian abbey of the twelfth was occupied for six centuries by the Canons Regular of St. Augustine.
It was founded with a donation of William, Duke of Aquitaine , Count of Poitou , and father of Eleanor , who offers his land Sablonceaux , to the Church, to forget his support for the » anti-pope » .
The Romanesque church is impressive by the height of the choir and the whiteness of the stone. It consisted of a nave of domes , the first two have now disappeared. The transept is covered with a dome on pendentives . On the south chapel stands a high Gothic tower decorated with two tiers of arches and surmounted by an octagonal floor flanked by four powerful pinnacles. The chapter house , which has lost its vaults , has retained its Romanesque bays . It is topped by the monks’ dormitory and extended by a large vaulted cellar.
The abbey house was rebuilt in the eighteenth century , an upstairs gallery overlooking a hickory aged about 130 years , one of the most beautiful and oldest trees of Saintonge. A place of rest and healing in a rural setting where a river lined with poplars flows .
Hours: Open house at all times. Guided tours on request
Prices: Adult full fee: 5 €
Free: under 18
05 46 94 41 62
In TRIZAY (50 km Domain)
ABBEY TRIZAY :
On the road to Santiago, lost in fields and marshes of the sweet valley Arnoult , the Priory of St. John the Evangelist imposing (commonly called Abbey Trizay ) appears in nature.
Founded in the eleventh century , it depended on the great Benedictine abbey of La Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne.
The remains of the church show a rare polygonal in Saintonge , a choir and apse richly carved . The chapter house is vaulted arches and lit by lobed berries. The refectory has beautifully restored murals depicting the symbols of the evangelists. See also the bays of the old dormitory and storeroom.
The Priory is home to the Centre for Contemporary Art . Artists exhibit in the restored rooms : paintings, sculptures, tapestries … All year round , exhibitions are offered.
Hours: Open house at all times. Guided tours on request .
Esplanade de l’ Abbaye
05 46 82 34 25