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Saint-Antoine's fabulous treasure in Ambazac

Saint Etienne reliquary | MOSSOT / CC-BY-SA
Parish church St-Antoine church in Ambazac

Two treasures hiding here? Sure! Come on, let’s enter this small 12th century church...

The two precious objects come from Grandmont abbey, an abbey founded in 1076 by hermit Etienne de Muret: in this abbey they used to make beautiful goldsmithing pieces. When pope annulled the abbey in 1772, the famous treasure was translated here, in this church!

First, we have saint Etienne reliquary, made in 1189 with oak wood, copper, enamels, precious stones and rock crystal. It's a kind of little boat, crowned by a church (the Holy Spirit).

Do you know they called these kind of reliquaries fiertés in the Middle-Ages? From a Latin word feretrum which means "coffin", because they used to put inside saints' last remains. Indeed, saint Etienne's bones were put in this reliquary!

Come here, to see the second treasure... Here’s saint Etienne coat, a religious cloth made of red and golden silk, embroidered with a two-headed eagle. Etienne probably received it from empress Matilda in 1121, but maybe a pilgrim of Compostela brought it from Spain in the 13th century?

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!