Photographer's Note

Saint-Sauvant is a French village and commune in the dpartement of Charente-Maritime. It lies some 12 kilometres west of Saintes on the right bank of the Charente. Its 514 inhabitants (as of 2009) are known as Saint-Sylvanais / Saint-Sylvanaises.

In ancient times Saint-Sauvant was crossed from west to east by the old Roman road that ran from Saintes to Lyon and known as the route of Agrippa. The village still retains several medieval buildings dating from the 14th and 15th centuries, notably in rue March and rue due Paradis that lead to the church square at the top of the hill on which the village is built.

There is also a stone porch of military appearance that once gave access to the communal cemetery. In addition, there is 14th century stone tower that may have once been part of a castle now long since disappeared or part of the town walls.

The church of Saint-Sylvain lies at the heart of the village on the top of the promontory. It essentially dates from the 12th century. There is some evidence of it having been fortified, probably during the One Hundred Years War. Based on a Latin cross design, the church consists of a nave of three bays, preceded by a facade with a military-like appearance due to the presence of two massive buttresses. The semicircular doorway is devoid of any ornamentation. Contrary to tradition, the tower is built, not at the crossing, but on the first bay of the choir. The square is marked by a dome on pendentives, whose drum is decorated with diamond points.

Inside, the nave, which rises gently towards the choir, is flanked by crosses. The interior is very sober, however, the arches rest on columns supporting capitals with vegetal motifs, including acanthus leaves.

The above is extracted and translated from an article about the village to be found on the French Wikipedea site. Any errors in translation are down to me.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 10627 W: 63 N: 29874] (130967)
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