Photographer's Note

July 19th, 2007
Melle 790174 79500
Deux-Sèvres Poitou-Charentes
46.223 -0.143 138 m

Church Saint-Hilaire XIème XIIème century, classified with the world inheritance of the humanity of UNESCO in 1998

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Melle has three interesting Romanesques churches, Saint-Hilaire, Saint-Pierre, and Saint-Savinien. Their construction is concentrated between the end of 11th century and the medium of 12th century, which offers in only one place a digest of the architectural evolution of this time. One calls this unit the Romanesque triad of Melle.

Saint-Hilaire church, of the name of the first bishop of Poitiers, died into 367, is vastest of the three, and the only one with being always used as a place of worship. It was built in two stages: about 1090, and 1150. It acts of the most succeeded church as well from the architectural point of view as decorative. Its plan complex, and is conceived in order to facilitate the frequentation of the pilgrims. She is along the banks of the Béronne river which one crossed using a ford. The carved decoration is abundant: 282 Romanesque capitals representing musicians and monsters. The southern gate is carved inside, outside it represents the saints of the Bible and the Fathers of the Church.

The northern gate with a rider in high relief, would symbolize the victory of Constantin Ier over the pagan ones, surmounting the combat of the defects and the virtues.

Located on the ways of Saint-Jacob de Compostelle, the Saint-Hilaire church is classified with the world inheritance of UNESCO since 1998.

MELLE is a French commune, located in the department of Deux-Sèvres of the Poitou-Charentes area, populated of 3851 Mellois in 1999, distributed out of 10 km², that is to say 397 hab./km².

During the Early middle ages, Melle was an active center of coining, thanks to the money mines located under the city and at the neighbourhoods. Coining was active 768 to 1189. The monetary workshop formed in particular part of the ten workshops authorized to maintain to their activity by king "Charles le Chauve". Two currencies were struck: the "denier" and the "obole" of money.

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Additional Photos by joel berthonneau (jlbrthnn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 7303 W: 0 N: 22961] (76039)
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