Medieval town of Saint‑Aignan

In its very enviable position, at the crossroads of the Three Provinces of Touraine, Orleans and Berry, this charming medieval town has developed with respect for its history, conserving ancient buildings and monuments.

On the banks of the Cher

In its very enviable position, at the crossroads of the Three Provinces of Touraine, Orleans and Berry, this charming medieval town has developed with respect for its history, conserving ancient buildings and monuments.

A route will lead you to the courtyard of the Renaissance Chateau, the collegiate church of Saint-Aignan, a remarkable religious building in the Cher Valley housing more than 250 capitals carved in its upper part as well as frescoes from the 12th and 14th centuries in the crypt, then, in the oldest areas of the town, evidence of the middle ages, where half-timbered houses and cobbled alleys can be seen…

Not to be missed

 the main courtyard of the chateau, the collegiate church and crypt, the half-timbered houses, the Hôtel-Dieu: a building attributed to Mansart founded in 1671.

 

The Collegiate Church of Saint-Aignan

Considered the most beautiful in the Cher Valley, the Collegiate Church of Saint-Aignan will be a must-see during your stay. Together with the discovery of the many Romanesque buildings in the region, you will leave with memories filled with history and emotion.

The upper church

Erected on the ancient promontory of Agnan, this beautiful collegiate church is a model of a pure Romanesque style, both in terms of the quality of its architecture and that of its decor. Over 250 carved capitals adorn the upper church, some illustrating scenes from the old and new testaments, others for decorative purposes.

The apse, the sanctuary and the transept surmounted by its central bell tower date from the 11th century.

The crypt

Previously called ‘Église St Jean’ or ‘Église des grottes’, this crypt was the primitive church.

Considered an architectural gem, it houses 10th century wall paintings, representing some episodes from the legend of St Gilles.

The choir connected to the ambulatory by three low doors forms the cul de four where the oldest fresco is located: ‘Christ in Majesty‘, of Byzantine inspiration (late 11th century), which sits in double madorla glory.

 

 

Also worth seeing

The Hôtel-Dieu

The current building was constructed by Mansart around 1671, on the orders of Louise de Colbert, Colbert’s daughter and wife of the  Duc de Beauvillier, who built the Renaissance chateau.
For many centuries, the Hôtel-Dieu was the hospital in Saint-Aignan.

 

The Villa Rose

This house, 18 avenue Gambetta in Saint-Aignan, was built by Monsieur Duchereau, a Saint-Aignan architect. It was one of the first to be built with a reinforced concrete and brick frame. The architectural ensemble was inspired by the modern style at the beginning of the 20th century.
The architect wanted to give an Italian note by opting for a roof terrace which he accentuated by decorating the exterior facades with graffiti.
Three Florentine artists spent several months creating the design in 1922.