Sunday, 26 May 2019

Church for Sunday - the Church of St. Maurice in Esves le Moutier,

The Church of St. Maurice sits in Esves le Moutier, a very small village 7 km east of Ligueil in Southern Touraine. The church, part of which dates from the 10th century,was originally part of a small fortified priory.

Once inside you are immediately struck by the ornate altar...

...why here?  This gilded,wooden carved altar in the centre of the choir is signed and dated 'A. Watrinelle 1698'. It is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and came from the Church of Our Lady of the Carmelites in Tours in the 19th century, a gift from a former priest of the church.

There are two small side altars in the church.

There are two heavy pillars supporting the 12th century, square, bell tower.

The church has some interesting 15th century seating.

The baptismal font.

Where's Joan?

She's here...well suited up

The village was the site of a monastery (French-'Moutier') from way back in 10th century and the village's name evolves from these origins. The monastery was converted to a priory in 1673 and went through a period of fortification, examples of which can be still be seen in the tower and elevation of the church.

To the side of the door of the church, there is a plaque letting us know that François de Montmorency-Laval (1623-1708), first bishop of Quebec, was one a former canon of the priory.


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