We weren't disappointed. The village church boasted a beautifully ornamented 12th century west facade. We weren't able to find out a great deal, but it seems that originally it was a monastery which then was turned into a priory linked with L'Île-Bouchard. The church is dedicated to St Peter.
|Scallop shell motief in the stonework|
What makes the west facade more interesting is the fact that the scallop shell motief is heavily used. The scallop is the symbol of St James, not St Peter. Pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela would wear a scallop shell badge. In the early church [5th - 6th cent] the scallop shell was also used as an image of the resurrection as the upturned shell looked similar to the rising sun.
One of the major medieval pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela ran via Tours and Poitiers. Parçay-sur-Vienne is about 1/3 of the way between Tours and Poitiers which could explain the use of the scallop shell motief; however this is an educated guess on our part.
|Cockerels on the left. Mad merman on the right?|
|A carnivore chasing its prey|
The church facade was restored in 1991. Sadly, on the day it was locked, so we don't know if there were more carved treasures inside. Hopefully, during the tourist season it will be unlocked and when next we're over this way we can find out.