Saint-Savin Travel Guide

  • Egyptians in the RedSea
    Egyptians in the RedSea
    by hquittner
  • Abraham Leaves for Canaan
    Abraham Leaves for Canaan
    by hquittner
  • God Selects Abraham
    God Selects Abraham
    by hquittner

Saint-Savin Things to Do

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    by hquittner Updated Jul 20, 2009

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    The stories of the upper level of the North side continue in sequence on the upper rank of the South side, only commencing at the transept and heading to the narthex. It starts with the Drunkeness of Noah (the second illustrated picture in this set). At that point, one should continue on the South side from narthex to transept with the lower rank. It is only then that the North lower rank is read starting with the Escape Over the Red Sea (the first picture here, again going West to East) finishing with the 10 Commandments. (On the South side the last picture on the lower level near the Narthex is Joseph interpreting for Pharoah).

    Egyptians in the RedSea Covering the Drunken Noah Abraham Leaves for Canaan The Tower of Babel God Selects Abraham
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    by hquittner Updated Jul 20, 2009

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    The Old Testament scenes start on the left (north) half of the nave vault near the Narthex and are in two ranks. The upper rank is first with a creation scene. Immediately below is the Creation of Eve. From here on the series progresses in only the upper rank, west to east, until the transept is reached. The last three scenes in the lower level are also read from west to east, but they follow after the entire South side (two ranks, as described in the next Tip) proceeding from the Crossing of the Red Sea to the Delivery of the 10 Commandments. (Most of the events are well known and one does not have to follow them in order).

    God Presents Eve to Adam (Rt: She Meets the Snake) Cain and Abel Offer Sacrifices God Directs Noah to Build the Ark The Ark Moses Receives the 10 Commandments
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    by hquittner Written Jul 19, 2009

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    This hall church has a tall nave and an equal height pair of aisles. It was built by 1080 forn the abbey. The paintings were finished about 1100. The fine spire was added in the 14C. There followed two centuries of damage from political and religious wars, with reconstruction in the 1640 and subsequent decay and neglect. Nobody paid attention to the paintings in the Narthex and on the vault of the nave until Vitet and Merimee discovered the abandoned structure and proceeded to restore and preserve it. The paintings in the narthex of Christ and the Apocalypse were too difficult to picture, but the Old Testament stories on the nave barrel-vaulted ceiling may be visible in our attempts. They are the oldest group in France. The altar area is raised and the choir is surrounded by 10 tall columns with small simply carved capitals. As in Chauvigny the columns have been over-restored by "marbelization". However there are preserved painted prophets on many of the pendentives between the nave arches, which show the palette available to the ancient artists.

    The Nave with the Murals on the Vaulting The Choir and Altar areas The Altar An Early Capital (before 1100) A Painted Mural Prophet
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Saint-Savin Off The Beaten Path

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    by hquittner Written Jul 20, 2009

    Five miles after we left St.-Savin headed east on the N151, we reached the edge of Poitou and entered Centre. At this point we crossed the river L'Anglin which is headed north where it enters Poitou and joins the Vienne on its way to the Loire. The site was so pretty that we had to stop and feel the countryside. To improve matters, the ruins of an old castle looked down on us. It is finds like this that make France such a pleasure.

    Bridge, Castle and Town River and Town Castle Ruin With a Water-Mill And a Lone Angler on the Anglin
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