I've posted several images and photos of the Romanesque church in Saint-Aignan over the past couple of weeks. Now here are some photos of the medieval wall paintings in the older church building on top of which which today's imposing church was built. The église basse — the lower church — is now the crypt of the larger building. The crypt is dark and I think I might have taken some of these photos using a flash. They are seven years old, and I've posted some of them before, but it was a long time ago and I've never before made them into a slideshow. The show runs for just 90 seconds.
The Michelin Loire Valley guidebook says the lower church, which was dedicated to St. John, was undoubtedly the original sanctuary. Later, it was used as stables or a root cellar during the French Revolution. It says the wall paintings are remarkable and describes some of the figures depicted in them. The Cadogan Loire guidebook says the crypt is the high point of the church (is that supposed to be funny?). The author says the fact that the crypt was used as a wine cellar in the 19th century saved it from major restorations that might have ruined the paintings or at least diminished their beauty and their historical significance.