The monolithic church of Saint-Émilion is a vast building dug into the rock. Wow! How wonderful, do you know this extraordinary place?
Tell me, tell me the story of the monolithic church of Saint-Émilion
The church was obtained thanks to the extraction of a considerable mass of stone, estimated at around 15 cubic meters, just imagine! In the absence of reliable historical sources, it is the archaeological analysis of the monument which confirms that the church was dug at the end of the 000th century. Initially, this cavity was made to keep the body of Saint-Émilion with dignity and to make its veneration more convenient. The stonemasons gave this building all the appearance of a built church, divided into three naves.
The vault of the central nave reaches 11 meters in height!
Natural lighting is limited and the Gothic windows in the western part of the church have fortunately brought a surplus of light into the building. The church received a rich decoration of wall paintings, in particular a Crucifixion dated from the XNUMXth century. Only a few tiny scraps remain of it, the original decoration having partly disappeared in the XNUMXth century. Fortunately, the elements of the sculpture executed in the eastern part of the great nave have been preserved.
The carvings in the underground church brilliantly shed light on the spiritual significance of the building. Here, the images of the temptation of evil: centaur sagittarius, quadrupeds backed, animal attacked by a snake... There, a vision of brutality and the unleashing of evil is represented: a monster with a huge mouth from which an immense tongue, on the back with a crest bristling with serpents' heads, rushes at a figure armed with a spear who is trying to resist him. Right next to it is the figure of a viol player.
The presence of the tomb of Saint-Emilion attracted burials near the church, as evidenced by the tombs dug in the series of underground galleries located to the north.
In the middle of the XNUMXth century, a beautiful Last Judgment portal gave access to the church and the rotunda. It presents Christ seated between the Virgin and kneeling Saint John. On the low register, the dead are resurrected. The style is reminiscent of that of the Royal Portal of Saint-André Cathedral in Bordeaux. Here then !
The monolithic church of Saint-Émilion,
Classified Historic Monument
To see and do, near the monolithic church of Saint-Émilion
The windmills of Calon
On the mountain heights, 5 mills dominate the landscape of the Jurisdiction. These tower mills, dating back
according to the archives, from the XNUMXth century, are witnesses to the establishment of the Dutch population arriving on the
territory at that time. The current owner has rehabilitated 2 mills, with the help of the Compagnons: only one
has the proper mechanism to grind the beans. The Calon mills site is an ideal area for
practice of hiking and a stopover for all those who, as in the past, would like to admire the dance of the wings
in the sky of these stone giants.