The Communauté de Communes of Porte Océane du Limousin hides numerous historic treasures.
Man has always built churches and castles and has even achieved some remarkable architectural feats, showing just how knowledgeable he was for the time.
Whether fortified as at Chéronnac and Saint-Martin-de-Jussac, decorated with frescoes or wall paintings as at Les Salles Lavauguyon, Rochechouart, and Saint Gervais, or an example of Limousin architecture like the collegiate church at Saint-Junien, don’t hesitate to open the door and look inside these churches, often listed as an Historic Monument.
Built in several successive stages, the collegiate church of Saint-Junien carries the influence of the artistic periods of its construction from the Romanesque to the early Gothic periods. In the choir don’t miss the tomb of Junien, a hermit and founder of the town. It contains relics of three saints and a fragment of the True Cross and these are presented to the public every seven years during the ‘Ostensions’, the next being in 2023.
Collégiale de Saint-Junien
Abbaye de saint Amand
Only traces remain of an 11th century church dedicated to Amand but the terraces of Saint Amand abbey have been renovated and offer a beautiful view across the Vienne valley. In the summer it is an ideal spot to watch a variety of outdoor shows organised in July and August.
Rochechouart and its castle
Rochechouart is well-known thanks to its castle sitting proudly atop a rocky spur.
Wander around it to appreciate the different stages of construction: the military defence systems of the 13th century, the Renaissance courtyard and its spiral columns, and don’t forget to follow the footpaths which lead to the end of the rocky promontory. And enjoy the view !
Château de Rochechouart
The church and its twisted spire
If you go to Rochechouart don’t forget to look up and admire the twisted spire of the church, an unusual construction of the 18th century and a technical feat achieved by Master carpenters. Don’t miss the frescoes in the choir, painted by Nicolaï Greschny in 1969.
The Martyr Village at Oradour-sur-Glane
The ruins of the martyr village were listed as an Historic Monument on 10 May 1946. They have been kept in the state they were since the day after the massacre and, for our future generations, they are the evidence of this barbaric act.
Le Village Martyr d'Oradour sur Glane
frescoes of Saint Eutrope church
The majority of the Romanesque churches have very little in the way of sculptures but many of them have frescoes and wall-paintings, showing the originality and richness of our artistic heritage.
The route ‘diagonale des fresques‘ enables you to enjoy wall-paintings done using different techniques from the 12th to the 20th century, going from Les Salles Lavauguyon at Rochechouart, to Chéronnac and Videix.
Of particular interest are the frescoes in St Eutrope Church at Les Salles Lavauguyon which are of an exceptional quality. They date back to the 12th century and cover 250m2. The themes represented include the Creation, the Nativity, and the lives of Martyr saints (Valérie, Laurent …..)