Saint-Denis-de-Jouhet church and its medieval stained-glass windows

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One of the stained-glasses - © / CC-BY-NC-SA One of the stained-glasses - © / CC-BY-NC-SA
Saint-Denis church in St-Denis-de-Jouhet Parish church

The church

St Denis, first bishop of Paris but above all protector of kings of France… Mentioned for the first time in 1102, belonging to the abbey of Aureil (Limousin), the current church was rebuilt at the end of the 12th c., after a fire that destroyed the primitive church raised in the 11th c.

The octagonal tower-bell was added after centuries. The building site began with the chevet, went on in the 13th c. with the part below the tower-bell. The two lateral chapels were added in the 15th c.

The stained-glass windows

Pretty ancient stuff!

Come on, let’s go towards the chevet… There, surprise! This little church houses stained-glass windows made at the end of the 12th century: the oldest one in Indre département! We have two, the left one and the right one (the middle one is pretty actual).

Hey, did you notice something? The narrowness of the windows, yes… because at the Romanesque time, all the weight of the vault rests on walls. To stop weakening them, they opened as many small windows as possible!

On the grill!

But let’s get back to our point: those windows echo the life of saint Denis, in medallions. We can see in a jumble Denis’ sermon (we read DIONISIVS and POPULUS), Denis in front of the Governor (SISINIVS), his execution, the saint who put his head on the altar. Then, on the first window, we can see Denis with wild beasts, Denis during his torture, Denis while they were burning him on the grill (CATASTA).

Those two windows were restored in 2002, but they kept their primitive look, so rough, so medieval! The one in the middle, re-made in the 19th century, shows the saint receiving Communion and the saint in the arena, in the grill.

Last Judgement

Above, don’t miss the big rose window representing the Christ during the Last Judgement. It dates back to the 19th century, made by the famous glassmaker Lucien-Léopold Lobin, from Tours.

And also!