Inside the abbey church
Bookmark and Share

Read more

Before you step inside, be sure to admire the church’s remarkable broken bow arch portal with its 9 lobes. Limestone capitals are sculpted atop the church columns : this is not a local stone, it had to be imported, and was certainly a costly purchase.

Inside, the church was divided into two separate spaces by an enclosing wall. On the west side was the nave, which parishioners entered using the main portal. To the east, the choir and transept were used exclusively by Canons, who had direct access from the convent through a door, which was walled up later on.  A rather narrow hallway enabled small groups of congregants to access the church’s chapels and worship various relics.

In the northern wing of the transept, a funerary monument was built in the 13th century, in memory of Canon Humbert, the abbey’s first Prior, who died around 1085. Above Humbert’s granite recumbent statue, is a wall niche called a « recess » where his grave is located. The niche is closed by a stone slab, on which are engraved the symbols Alpha and Omega, which represent eternity.  The abbey’s partner-in-commendam, a prior from the Naillac family, is buried at the foot of this grave: his coat of arms representing two crawling lions are engraved on the tombstone.

The church’s vaults are supported by columns, upon which 44 granite capitals were roughly sculpted. They can be divided into 3 distinct categories: plants and tree patterns in the nave, a bearded Atlas, two centaurs and the head of a demon in the transept crossing, and in the choir, fiendish creatures representing the underworld: lions, griffons, snakes and dragons.

The Christ blessing stained-glass window was donated by Paul Abadie in 1875, after he finished working on the church.

Etapes suivantes

History and savoir-faire

Inside the abbey church

Before entering the church portal , watch this video. It will help you to understand the church’s main curiosities, especially its recumbent statue and its sculpted capitals.

Other courses