Sunday, 26 November 2017

Loire Valley church on Sunday...Notre-Dame-la-Riche

The church of Notre-Dame-la-Riche in Tours has obviously seen a turn in its fortune as its origins date back to a 10th century church on the site called Notre-Dame-la-Pauvre! The original church was formed to bury the poor of the parish but was replaced by a new church in the 12th century. The new church attracted pilgrims who had come to the city to pray to St. Gatien, among them Louis XI,who came to pray here on his way to his chateau at Plessis. Perhaps this is when the name-change occurred.

The portal on the west facing facade was part of some 19th century restoration work. The church has had quite a history, like many others, having been rebuilt completely during the 15th/16th centuries following the hundred year war only to be ransacked during the wars of religion. It did not suffer so much during the revolution as it apparently became a factory producing saltpetre!

Due to its location, hemmed in by buildings on three sides, the inside of the church has a rather sombre appearance with light filtering through where it can among the many stained glass windows (*our photos don't do them justice). These windows contain examples from almost every century of its existence.

The church is said to contain the relics of 'Saint Francis of Paola'.

It has a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary...

plus these splendid figures depicting the 'marriage of the Virgin' by the sculptor Charpentier dating from 1650 and other impressive works of art.

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