Paradoxplace South West France Photo and History Pages

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Église Ste-Radegonde, Poitiers


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Radegonde (c519 - 587 (68)) was a child princess who was captured by Clotaire, one of the sons of Clovis I.  Clotaire later married her, but she was not interested in Clotaire or queenship, and eventually persuaded him to release her to pursue her desire to help the poor and sick.  She founded one of the earliest known European nunneries (Saint Croix) in Poitiers, and the present next door Église Ste-Radegonde is built over an earlier pilgrimage church and still contains her sarcophagus.


Early French Saints, Kings and Queens














Anthony Weir (who else?) found this fellow lurking somewhere









The beast at the back of this exhibit in the nearby Musée St-Croix is "La Grand-Goule", a dragon who roamed the lowlands around Poitiers in the 500s, killing nuns and other travellers.  Ste-Radegonde bravely sought him out and killed him, and later this effigy was paraded around the town once a year to celebrate the event.


The provenance of the dragon and rider in the foreground is not known, though there is an air of Don Quixote about the rider, and the (working) canon poking out of the dragon's tail would have given attackers something extra to think about.



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