Abbey from Airvault

Notes on the Church of Airvault / M. De Caumont

Airvault Church, one of the largest and most interesting of Poitou, is largely of the 11th century, and deserves attention. The column engaged the nave of a fairly high volume are all confined cross, as this occurs often in Poitou. Those that are from the front, either in the nave, the aisles, rise higher than others. The capitals have their tailloirs carved and decorated with knotwork, tendrils and leaves. the capitals are themselves large embossed and quite varied. It is likely that for a long time, there has not been a ceiling and that the frame was bare.

The central tower is from the 15th or 16th century.

A narthex or vestibule very-wide above the Church. It consists of three wings corresponding to the large gate and two side doors.

Above the two side doors giving access to the vestibule are two arcades mouthfuls; in the arcade of left, we saw, as in Parthenay, Civray and also a horse wearing a jumper; This horse was very big and very-salient; He had behind steep and splayed legs like those of cardboard horses given to children. There, as elsewhere, the jumper has been broken; We see more only the lower part of the torso and left leg, as our Lady of Parthenay and Civray. It has resisted because it was along the wall next to the masonry. The heel is lower than the tip of the foot. The remains of an embroidered dress or a rich coat are still falling near this leg, making that jumper was a lady. M. de La Fontenelle and some other people think that this statue on horseback should be or of Aunay, viscountess of Airvault, which would build the Church, which seems to me all the more doubtful that the current state of sculpture does not recognize anything that applies to a woman to a man; We see even a spur on the heel that still.

AIRVAULT - le narthex de l´église

The façade was reworked in the upper part. The large gate which affects the ogival shape provides enough curious archivolts. You could first see the elders of the Apocalypse on so many balanced stones; they had a hairstyle decorated with the network. The lower archivolt presents a fairly ordinary drawing in the 11th and 12th century, beyond the Loire.

At the top of the facade were Jésus Christ in a Medallion which can be seen more than the bottom. The rest was broken when did the modern window between the two pillars.

Inside the narthex, the rolls or loops of the vault consisted of parts Alternatively rounded up and charged with concave grooves.

The gate that separates the Church from the narthex is decorated with first two bladders very-highlights and a row of mouldings I found often in Poitou, but in Normandy never.

Mr. Georget, parish priest of Airvault, very enlightened man and that includes the interest offered by the monument, promised me to do good drawings. According to its information, the building would have been founded towards the end of the 11th century, and the consecration took place roughly in 1100. He believes that the ashes of the founder who had first been filed in another Church were transferred to it in the 12th century. And after these traditions, Mr. Airvault priest seems inclined to watch the curious Tomb that I designed and carved on one of the boards of the 6th. part of my course, as being that of the founder.

The Church of Airvault was that of an Abbey which the cloister was attached to the building on the side of the midi. Can still be seen to the East of the courtyard and following the southern transept, the remains of the Chapter House and a building which it was part. On entering the cloister in this Hall by three arched arcades with a (the centre) was higher than the other two. This provision is found in several other capitular rooms of the 12th century, notably in that of St. Bavo in Ghent, which, incidentally, is positioned absolutely, that is in the eastern part of the cloister and the southern transept of the Abbey Church online.

A large part of the galleries of the cloister of Airvault had established or rebuilt in the 15th century, as can be seen by the traces that remain. At this time, and he made a few mutilation to the foothills of the Church for the establishment of the claustral Gallery.

The Church of Airvault built to mid-coast is committed deeply to the land on the north side; It seems to me necessary to do work which sanitise the building and preserve moisture.

Source: Société Française d'Archéologie 1840 monumental newsletter.

(Former) Abbey
((Former) Abbey, airvault)

Heritage listed, historical monument, or having been under investigation

Structural information

(Former) Abbey, Airvault Church, one of the largest and most interesting of Poitou, is largely of the 11th century, and deserves attention. The column engaged the nave of a fairly high volume are all confined cross, as this occurs often in Poitou. Those that are from the front, either in the nave, the aisles, rise higher than others. airvault, deux sevres

Location and general information

  • identifier : 128654
  • item : Abbaye (ancienne)
  • Location of the building :
    • Poitou-Charentes
    • Deux-Sèvres
    • Airvault
  • INSEE code of the municipality : 79005
  • Zip code of the municipality : 79600
  • Order in the communal list : 1
  • Name of the building :
    • The building is designated as follows : abbey
  • State :
    • the current state of the monument is not known.

Dates and times

  • Period of construction : 4 different epochs of evolution of the building.
    • 12th century
    • 4th quarter 12th century
    • 13th century
    • 17th century
  • Dates of protection :
    • 1914/04/18 : classé MH
    • 1934/01/12 : inscrit MH
    • 1934/07/02 : classé MH
    • 1934/08/10 : classé MH
    • 1987/09/15 : classé MH
  • Date taken into account : 1993/10/08

Construction, architecture and style

  • Materials:
    • We do not have this information.
  • Roofing :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Materials (roofing) :
    • We do not have this information.
  • Other about the composition roofs :
    • No information on the coverage of the place.
  • Floors :
    • any information about this construction.
  • Stairs :
    • No stairs mentioned on this construction.
  • Decoration of the building :
    • No information about decoration.
  • Representation :
    • No information on the ornamentation of the place.
  • Typology :
    • No information about typology.
  • Plan :
    • We do not know the type of plan for this building.

Monument and history of the place

  • Elements protected MH (historical monument) :13 parts of the building are subject to protection and are listed as follows :
    • portal
    • elevation
    • chapel
    • FIELD
    • dwelling
    • home Prioral
    • convent building
    • church
    • prison
    • ground
    • port
    • building
    • winery
  • Constituent areas :
    • no information.
  • Parties constituantes étudiées :
    • no information.
  • Use : This building has been used in different ways over time. We know 2 successive uses. :
    • museum
    • post


  • Other : 3 various other information are available
    • property of the municipality
    • owned by a private company
    • property of a private person 1992
  • Picture : f3687101aab6b3cda66cbb5d3268544f.jpg
  • Detail :
    • Eglise abbatiale : classement par journal officiel du 18 avril 1914
    • Propriété de M. Andréault aux abords de l' église : inscription par arrêté du 12 janvier 1934
    • Terrain bordant l' église et appartenant à la société immobilière du Poitou et à M. Emile Guérin : classement par arrêté du 2 juillet 1934
    • Terrains au sud de l' église et appartenant à la commune et à M. Bécavin. : classement par décret du 10 août 1934
    • Restes des bâtiments abbatiaux : prison, cuvier, chapelle et logis du prieur transformé en musée
    • sol de la parcelle non bâtie (AE 352)
    • façade sud du logis du prieur, devenu la poste actuelle, et portail et sol de la parcelle AE 621 (cad. AE 352, 353, 621) : classement par arrêté du 15 septembre 1987
  • Mérimée reference : PA00101165

Contributions documentaries made by visitors

Abbey from Airvault. Picture of JOJO 4/9
Abbaye (ancienne), airvault
Description of this building by JOJO 4/9 :

L'église d'AIRVAULT (Deux-Sèvres), ancienne abbatiale.

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