Levroux, its Saint-Jacques house... and its lepers?
On 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)?
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 saint Martin came in the city to cure lepers.
He succeeded in and founded a hospital: the city became Leprosum or Leprosus, the future Levroux...
In the Middle Ages, the hospital became a big leprosy hospital, where came all the sick pilgrims.
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 sickness″, a skin disease)...