Photographer's Note

The church Saint-Hilaire at Melle has 3 gates, all of which give access to the nave. The north gate (depicted here) has the richest decoration. It is surmounted by a niche accommodating the so-called enigmatic rider pressing down on a character, which was restored in 1871. Amongst other assumptions, it could represent the Roman emperor Constantine crushing paganism.

The gate has three carved arches. The two upper arches, much damaged, represent 'work of the month' alternating with the signs of the zodiac and the Vices and the Virtues. The third presents a decoration of palmettes and was carried out about 1890.

Particular care was taken with regards to the architectural elements and the decoration of the northern frontage, which the first to come into the view of passers-by. Elegant column-buttresses accentuate the vertical lines of the openings. Finely worked modillons run all along the cornice. Capitals decorate the posts framing the windows.

The above was freely translated from web site.

This picture is a vertical stitch of two photographs.

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9183 W: 63 N: 25829] (114435)
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