Notre-Dame de Surgères' fantastical creatures

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Famous French historian Prosper Mérimée, when he came in Surgères in 1840, said he had never seen a façade like this! He said it was the most beautiful one in all the area...

Well, it's true, the façade of this little church is gorgeous, with all these animals, monsters, zodiac symbols...

In fact, this church was raised inside Surgères castle, founded by the duke of Poitou in the 9th century, in order to face Normans' raids.

First lords was the Maingot family, they built the church inside the fortress between 1070 and 1080.

The nave and the transept were altered in the Middle Ages; vaults collapsed after wars of religion. Architect Lisch restored the church in the 19th century.