Thursday, 2 May 2019

What's in a name?'- Maison de Bois' Levroux

If visiting Levroux in Indre (Berry) you will no doubt be drawn to the 'Maison de Bois' or 'Maison Saint Jacques'. This interesting 16th century house formed part of a group of buildings that surrounded the imposing collegiate church of Saint Silvain in the town.  Local tourist information implies that it was used to house the pilgrims enroute to Compostela,thus 'Maison Saint Jacques' but further research  points more towards pilgrims searching for a cure for a medieval skin problem the "fire of Saint Sylvain".Within the church Lepers would gather around the tomb of Saint Sylvain, who was reputed to cure the disease, in the hope of a cure. Whatever its purpose what we have now is a very interesting building with some fine detail!

Some claim the image above is of a leper holding a club to prevent anyone coming near him.

*Apparently Levroux takes its name from the Latin leprosus , "leper": Legend has it that St. Martin came to the town and miraculously cured a leper! He is then said to have founded a hospital here and the the town that grew up around it took its name from Leprosum or Leprosus and eventually Levroux. Why would you name your town after a disease

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