Churches in the Mellois area between the 15th and 16th centuries

The Mellois area is renowned for its Romanesque churches, but the 15th and 16th centuries also left their mark on some buildings. This video sequence will give you a synopsis of Flamboyant-style Gothic elements and wall murals from this period.

The church at La Mothe-Saint-Héray was built during the period of peace following the Hundred Years’ War at the end of the 15th century. The coats of arms that frame the Gothic decorations at the base of the bell tower indicate that it was financed by the lords of La Mothe, Jacques de Beaumont-Bressuire and his son-in-law, André de Vivonne. These arms also appear inside the church on some keystones.

In Javarzay, at the start of the 16th century, the lord François de Rochechouart rebuilt the chancel of the Romanesque Saint-Chartier church near to his new castle. It was there that he established his family cemetery, as well as a sanctuary that would have held 100 relics, according to Rabelais. In keeping with Gothic style, the arches were slender, with crossed, strongly protruding ribs that descend from here to the base of the columns.

The alcove in the chancel is an excellent example of the Flamboyant Gothic style. This style can be found in particular on the door of the church of Luché with its embellishments of finely created mouldings. Its bracket is topped by an impressive flower and bordered by two ridges.

Pioussay church, which also has this type of ornament, is notable primarily for its wall murals from the second half of the 15th century. They depict scenes from the New Testament, such as the Last Supper, the Betrayal of Judas, the Crucifixion, the Burial of Jesus and the Resurrection. Saint Barbara and Saint Michael frame this painted story. Once again, the coats of arms of local lords can be seen everywhere, especially in the side chapel.

In the wall murals of Loizé church, the patron lord is shown kneeling in prayer in front of Saint Anthony to gain his protection. As in Javarzay, the Loizé church has preserved elements from the Romanesque period

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