Friday 23 September 2011

La Chapelle Saint-Jean-du-Liget

La Chapelle St Jean-du-Liget
Tucked away in the Foret de Loches is a small round chapel. It's sign posted 'Chapelle du Liget' from the road which runs from Loches to Montrésor. Not far from the Chartreuse du Liget, it's a wayside chapel belonging to the charterhouse.

It has recently undergone an extensive renovation to restore and conserve some excellent late 12th century frescos which decorate the inside walls of the main part of the strucutre. Sadly the porch has long gone.

Dormation of the Virgin [last earthly sleep of the Virgin]

Last year we read in the local newspaper that the renovations were finished and that at the weekend one could obtain a key from someone in Sennevieres with a view to visiting... at least that's what we think we remember. Despite carefully cutting out the clipping to save for the future, we lost it. Once, when we were on our way from Montrésor to Loches we tried pot luck but it was tightly locked up.

decorative corbels
Last weekend once we'd visited the Chartreuse du Liget we passed the sign to the chapel and decided to turn back and gamble that, as it was the "journées de patrimoine", it might be open. We were in luck, it was.

Inside it is a very simple round structure which must have been dedicated to the Virgin Mary as scenes from her life are depicted. Outside all along the walls just under the roof line runs a series of restored decorative corbels. Some are of grotesques, others are Christian symbols.

Photographing the frescos was a little tricky as just inside the door is a locked grille to prevent visitors from going up and touching them. But we hope the photos give an impression of this little gem. 

inside of chapel
If you'd like to read about some places other people visited during the Journées de Patrionine visits then have a look here.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
For all of its apparent simplicity, this small, isolated chapel is truly beautiful. What a wonderful place and we are so delighted to know that it is being cared for and not, as could be the case, left to disintegrate.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - it's one of the nice things about living here--they do invest in their "patrimoine".

Diane said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. What a truly beautiful little chapel, I have never seen a chapel quite like it. The last photo is excellent and gives a wonderful idea of what it is like inside. Great news that it being looked after. Diane

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - as they say 'du rien'! We love nothing better than rootling round historic buildings :-).

Susan said...

You pick up the key from the tourist office in Loches. You sign for it (and leave your credit card or passport or something as surety I think) and you have to get the key back to the TO by the end of the same day. We've never done it but I went in and asked about it one day.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - Thanks for letting us know. Seems a far better solution than having to go to the small shop in Sennevieres.