Levroux, its Saint-Jacques house... and its lepers?

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The wild man - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA The wild man - ©Anecdotrip.com / CC-BY-NC-SA
St-Jacques house in Levroux House Epidemic

The house

On the place Ernest-Nivet, this lovely building raised between 1536 and 1547 houses the current tourist office. We also known it as ″Saint-Jacques house″. Why? Because pilgrims on the road for Compostela stopped here, in Levroux: its neighbouring basilica with saint Sylvain’s relics was an important visit!

Levroux and the lepers

Next to the door, look: an angel holds Anne of Brittany’s blazon (ermines), while another one holds France’s fleur de lis. At the corner, beware: we can see a gorgeous ″wild man″!

A ″wild man″ (homme sauvage in French)? Yes, a very popular medieval theme: a hairy man, with a cudgel. He represents the link between the civilized world and the wild nature. But in some case, the wild man could also represent a leper…

After all, Levroux comes from the Latin name leprosus (″leper″)! The legend says that saint Martin came in the city to cure lepers: miracle! He succeeded in and founded a hospital: and the city became Leprosum or Leprosus, the future Levroux...

In the Middle Ages, the hospital became a big leprosy hospital, where also came all the sick pilgrims. And to be cured, they went in the collegiate church of Levroux, praying on saint Sylvain’s relics (famous because they could heal the ″saint Sylvain’s fire’s sickness″, a skin disease...

And also!