12 October 2012

The church at Montrésor

At Montrésor, which is just south of Saint-Aignan and is recognized as one of the plus beaux villages de France, the church was built in the first half of the 16th century (1519-1541). A lot of construction and renovation was going on around the Loire Valley during those heady years of the French Renaissance. Big projects were under way at Chambord, Chenonceau, Blois, and Azay-le-Rideau, for example.

The "disproportionately splendid" church in the small village of Montrésor

At Montrésor, the royal advisor and chamberlain Imbert de Batarnay (sometimes spelled Bastarnay) was building his own fine logis next to the ruined fortifications that still stand today, and he was putting up a gothic-style church where he and his family would be interred after their death.

The restored tombs of the Batarnay family in the church at Montrésor —
"they look rather like a family tucked up in bed," says the Cadogan guide.

Some of the stained glass in the Montrésor church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, dates back to the French Renaissance, as do the old wooden choir stalls with their carved miséricordes and médaillons. The Cadogan guide says the church "looks disproportionately splendid for such a small village." Here are some more photos of the interior.

Medallions and a misericorde on the old wooden choir stalls

Montrésor's church is dedicated to St. John the Baptist


  1. So who do you think the man with the horns is? An unfeasibly boyish looking Moses?

  2. This is a message for Tim. I'll post it here and on my Savarin topic. I found a company (maginea.com) that sells the Pyrex ring mould (called a moule à savarin on the site) just like the one I have. Here's the link. Price: 12.50 euros.

  3. Ken, I've heard the term miséricorde, but don't know what it is. Can you explain?

    I love those old carvings... patina!

  4. The misericorde is something for the monk to lean on during interminable church services. Lord have mercy on me... that is the idea. (Sent from my Archos 35 Home Connect radio/tablet...)

  5. I wonder if any of the Batarnay family had seen those 'statues' of themselves, would they have been happy?

  6. Susan, I don't have a theory about the man with horns. Why do you say Moses?

    Starman, I wonder. But since they are long gone... well, no matter.


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