12 November 2010

L'Eglise Saint-Martin in Mareuil

The first church known to have existed in the village of Mareuil-sur-Cher, just downriver from Saint-Aignan, was a wooden structure. It was burned shortly before the year 600 of our era by the invading forces of the descendants of the French king Clovis. They controlled the neighboring Berry region and had invaded the Touraine and the Poitou to add them to their territories.

The relics (bones, in other words) of Saint-Martin, who first Christianized the region around Tours at the end of the Roman Empire, had been hidden in the church at Mareuil. Miraculously, they did not burn up in the fire that destroyed Mareuil's wooden church.

The church is still called St. Martin's, and the window above is one of several modern stained-glass windows in the church. Saint Martin was a Roman soldier who famously cut his big cape in two and gave part of it to a poor man who was freezing cold. The scene here shows him cutting his cape. The window was made in Tours in the 1930s.

Over the past 15 centuries, several churches have existed in Mareuil, on the banks of the Cher. Some were destroyed as a result of warfare, and others were destroyed by flooding. One was seriously degraded during and following the French Revolution a couple of hundred years ago. The current church building dates back only to the 19th and early 20th centuries.


  1. I wish most village churches built in the 19th century were as simply good looking as the one in Mareüil. Those aforementioned structures are faux, read improved Gothic or Romanesque!

  2. Love the window! Not a bit faux.

  3. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing with me, glad to be here. I think it is such a beautiful place where you live. I am looking forward to more photos and stories.

  4. CHM, I agree. It's a very pretty church. I wonder what it looked like before 1789 and how much it was changed.

    Evelyn, no, not faux. Nice.

    Thanks for your comment, Olga.


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