05 June 2020

More St-Aignan church photos

Standing on the old town's main street, looking west toward the church towers

A couple of 2013 photos of other wall paintings in the crypt of the church

There are many carved capitals in the upper church

19th century restoration work was extensive in the upper church, but not in the crypt

Down in the crypt — this was the original church until the newer one was built in the 11th and 12th centuries


  1. I always enjoy seeing the carvings at the tops of the columns. Thanks.

  2. I'm always looking for good examples of historiated captitals to show my students. These photos are great, Ken. Is it your impression that these capitals in the upper church are restored versions of the originals? But, they copy the original? When we visited Vézelay just before coming to Saint Aignan, we saw that a number of the capitals had been restored, and were sharp and clean like these. I assume that they were copies.

  3. I don't know, Judy. The Cadogan guide for the Loire Valley says that 19th century restorers "cleansed" the church, giving the interior "an almost hospital-like whiteness." It goes on to say "The capitals in the choir look absurdly sparkling and new, although the figures are in the entertaining Romanesque tradition." It's hard to read between the lines, but I think restoration work has always gone on in all these old buildings, some of it expertly done and some not.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?