08 January 2014

Saint Martin

At least 236 towns and villages in France are named after Saint Martin of Tours (b. ca. 316 in Hungary – d. 397 in Candes, near Tours) , and more than four thousand churches are dedicated to him. His baptism name, Martin, is the most common family name in France.


The church in our village, 35 miles east of Tours, is named for Saint Martin, who was known for tearing his Roman army cape in two and giving half of it to a beggar who needed clothing for protection from the cold. Saint Martin also pioneered the growing of grapes for wine in the Loire Valley.



A series of churches have stood on the site of today's building over the centuries. The first ones, built of wood, were burned during local wars between Touraine and Berry forces. A stone church built in the 1200s or earlier was severely damaged by flooding when the Cher repeatedly overflowed its banks. The current church tower dates back to the 1600s.

4 comments:

  1. St Martin de Candes; Martine's favorite city. Beautiful stained glass!

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  2. We passed through several villages named "Something St-Martin" just the other day. Thanks for the history lesson!

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  3. Beautiful images. I love the 'new, modern' church.

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  4. @ Nadege, How kind of you to point out that Candes-St.Martin is my favourite Touraine village! :) A sure 'must' on each and every Loire Valley trip! Martine

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