Radegonde, a saint and queen of France
Coolness of the stone
Sainte-Radegonde, in Chinon, is a small chapel raised on the hillside (fit out between the 12th and the 17th c., restored in 1643 after the damages of wars of Religion), surrounds by troglodytes houses.
Come on, let’s pass the Romanesque portal. Do you feel the coolness of the stone? Let’s go!
A well, a legend
Sainte Radegonde, queen of Francs (she married Clotaire, Clovis’ son) ans patron saint of Poitiers, withdrew near Loudun in Poitou to have a quiet life, far away from the royal court.
She founded abbeys and churches, and turned up in Chinon in 550, to meet Jean le Reclus, a Breton hermit settled here in a cave (the current chapel).
But, come here: there’s a very old well, linked to a pagan cult (15 m. deep), at the bottom of the corridor, after a staircase.
The legend says it gave fresh water to the saint every morning.
But one day, while she was coming back from the city, Radegonde came across an ″indecent woman″.
She completely snubbed her. But the next morning, when she wanted to have her daily water, strange!
There was nothing in the well. Radegonde had to repent for her scorn, and the water would spring out again…
The night of June 23th to 24th (summer solstice), people came to draw this water, renowned to cure eyes’ diseases.