Paradoxplace South West France Photo and History Pages

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Église St-Pierre, Aulnay


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The Église St-Pierre, Aulnay, dates from the second half of the 1100s with the exception of the later gothic spire and tower extension, and some rather clumsy repair work on the (presumably collapsing) upper west facade.  The church is located outside the town of Aulnay between Poitiers and Saintes on the medieval pilgrims' road called the via Turonensis.  It sports a host of Romanesque people, beasts and symbols in corbels, door and window decorations and capitals.  More in fact than we had time to do justice to on an afternoon stop when the sun spent most of the time behind rain clouds before the rain itself came.  That being said there is no excuse for the fact that we hardly took any photos of the many corbels, and none of the capitals.




The south side of the church - look's easy, but we were chatting to the cows for nearly half an hour before the sun broke through !




The south door - a goldmine of Romanesque beasts and corbels.







The central portal of the west front includes the weathered remains of a Zodiac cycle (below) and a couple of blind archivolt / tympanum structures, but the top half - including probably some guy on a horse over the door in the manner of the large Poitou churches - has been lost.






Pisces and February foot warming ??




Bottom left of outer archivolt - Aquarius (see the falling stream of water?) or two faced Janus or  ???






Aries, the Gemini twins (just about still there), and ? doing ? from the remains of the Zodiac cycle on the outer archivolt of the central west door portal.




The left arch, with tympanum showing the upside down crucifixion of Peter.










Merman and friend in the wall of the south portal chapel




Double headed wyvern staking .....




An Aulnay chevet head job - reminiscent of the Cattedrali of Puglia like Trani.




The nave capitals include a dragon slaying scene and a group of elephants - both sadly missed by our lazy cameras.



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