Audio commentary voice : Sarah Lafaye, CRT

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The 12th century collegiate church was fortified by abbott Guillaume de l’Hermite, some time between 1420 and 1430 in the Hundred Yeras’ War context, as part of the town’s vast fortification project. The main element added to the ensemble was this high defensive tower, on the central apse, equipped with several arrowslits and brattices with machicolations to shoot at assailants. A round path was added on to the north side and as were shooting stations in the towers of the transept and on the western facade.

In 1567, during the Religious Wars, the church was besieged by the Protestants, who stole its precious furniture.
In 1861, the diocesan architect Pierre Chabrol planned to have the fortified tower taken down, to give the church its original look, which was quite common at the time. However, in the end, only the towers’ shooting windows were removed.

Photos credits :
– Abside de la collégiale du Dorat d’après une eau-forte de M. L. Gaucherel. © Bibliothèque Multimédia de Limoges.
– Vue de la Collégiale et de sa tour fortifiée. © Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Inventaire général du Patrimoine culturel. J. Chalard-Deschamps, 2017.
– Reste de fortification de la collégiale (vue depuis la place).© Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Inventaire général du Patrimoine culturel. J. Chalard-Deschamps, 2017.
– Archère. © Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Inventaire général du Patrimoine culturel. J. Chalard-Deschamps, 2017.
– Bretèches à mâchicoulis. © Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Inventaire général du Patrimoine culturel. J. Chalard-Deschamps, 2017.
– Détail. © Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Inventaire général du Patrimoine culturel. J. Chalard-Deschamps, 2017.
– Vue de la tour et de son chemin de ronde. © Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Inventaire général du Patrimoine culturel. J. Chalard-Deschamps, 2017.
– Elévation principale nord – Pierre Chabrol (Architecte Diocésain) – Etat projeté (suppression de la tour défensive), 1861. © Archives municipales de la ville du Dorat
– Vue de la collégiale. © Région Nouvelle Aquitaine, Dragonfly, 2017
– Elévation Est – Pierre Chabrol (Architecte Diocésain) – Etat projeté (suppression de la tour défensive), 1861. © Archives municipales de la ville du Dorat

Etapes suivantes

From the church to the Bergere Door

The fortified tower

Find out how and why the fortified tower became part of the collegiate church’s harmonious architecture in the 15th century.

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