Thursday, April 26, 2012

Saint Sauvant, France - July 3, 2011

Saint-Sauvant is a hilltop village of about 500 souls in the Charente-Maritime department of the Poitou-Charentes region, about halfway between Saintes and Cognac, on the right bank of the Charente. The name is probably a corruption of the name of Saint Sylvain, bishop of Gaza in the 3rd century.
Overlooking the village and the valley of the Koran is the Romanesque church of Saint-Sylvain dating from the twelfth century. Based on an outline of a Latin cross, the church has a nave of three single spans and a facade with a touch of military flavor. The interior is very sober and, contrary to tradition, the tower is built on the first bay of the choir.
There is a medieval rectangular tower that provided a defensive outpost overlooking the valley of the Koran and the Pidou, probably from the 14th century. It is thought to have belonged to a castle which was dismantled during the Hundred Years War.
The main historic houses are spread along a main axis formed by the streets of Market and Paradise, which lead to the church square at the top of the promontory. The village has a number of medieval houses of the fourteenth century  and fifteenth centuries. See here for more views.

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