Under Solignac's cupolas!
Hello everyone. I can see that you're ready to discover more of Haut-Vienne's heritage. You've studied your maps and put on your walking shoes so, you're off!
For this third edition, I'm taking you to Solignac south of Limoges to discover the Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul Abbey. This religious edifice was founded by Bishop Saint-Eloi… does that sound familiar? Of course it does! He's the one who said to good old King Dagobert to… anyway you know the song. Just to remind you, the good old King Dagobert gave the village of Solemniacum (Solignac) to Saint Eloi who founded a monastery, but I'm not going to go through the whole story of the place.
Today, you can still admire the beautiful abbey church, a lovely old lady under a granite dress that is from the 12th century. It's undergone several overhauls (cosmetic surgery, face lifts… it's important to stay on theme here) through the ages. It's a church with a row of cupolas, something that is relatively rare in the Limousin. For me, it's that which makes it a little oriental! Do you agree?
Why not take a few minutes to admire the exterior?
Inside you'll find the usual elements: stained-glass windows, altar, religious statues… I'm not to go through the whole list of all the things to see. However, I want to bring your attention to the carved stalls and the misericords (seats reserved for the monks during the services). Normally, there'll be a classical religious iconography such as saints and men praying, but in Solignac the images are particular… You can admire the grimacing faces, mystic beings and even someone's backside!
These more than atypic sculptures highlight the richness of mediaeval iconography, a sort of precursor of our comic books. It's a lovely place just the way we like them. Humble and great. A little jewel of Romanesque art in the Limousin.
And in finishing this article, I say, "See you next time. Keep your eyes open and maintain your curiosity!"
Julie from Haute-Vienne Tourisme