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L’abbatiale Saint Pierre d’après RANJARD Save this article in PDF

The most interesting monument of Preuilly, and one of the most beautiful religious buildings of the Touraine, is the church Saint Peter abbey-church today parochial church. L’ abbey benedictine of Saint Peter of Preuilly was founded in 1001 by Effrov, Lord of the place, bought by Gausbert, abbot of Marmoutier and data by him in Joseph II, abbot of Saint-Julian of Tours. The church was dedicated in 1009 by Archambault, archbishop of Tours, and was placed under the name of the twelve Apostles and more especially under the one of Pierre saint, but this date, engraved to the xviiie century above the western door can apply itself at the present church. The first abbot of Preuilly was a monk named Amblard, that Saint-Martin’s treasurer, Hervé of Buzançais, made come from the monastery of Maillezais. In 1025 Saint Peter abbey had separated of the one of Saint-Julian and had become autonomous, and it didn’t linger to increase his/her/its possessions that became quickly considerable, thanks to the munificence of the surrounding Lords. During the wars of Religion, in February 1562, she/it was wrecked and his/her/its chartrier nearly entirely destroyed. Thereafter the abbey lost little by little all his/her/its domains. In 1789 his/her/its incomes were hardly sufficient to the maintenance of religious four or five. The abbey of Preuilly carried for armoiries: “Of muzzles to two keys of gold in chain.” Rebuilt toward 1130, the Saint Peter church was restored to the xve century, in 1846, 1872-74 and 1932. She/it consists of a nave accompanied by two collaterals of which the southern is narrower than the other, a transept of which every croisillon is accompanied with an absidiole preceded of two right bays, a ch.ur and an apse surrounded with an ambulatory of where radiated three absidioles of which the one of only axis subsisted.

On the outside the interest first carries itself on the western facade absorbed by a high gable. To the bottom part, forming base, open up the door in full hanger to two rollers, of which the first falls again on the marquees, decorated on the left with interlacing and of ludicrous faces on the right, of two colonnettes encircled to the tour. To the first floor, a large median window in full hanger is accompanied with every side by an arcature of two hoops falling again on a high and elegant colonnette. On the flanks a smaller window, whose left is condemned, corresponds to each of the collaterals. The second floor is formed of a blind arcature falling again on colonnettes and that develops himself on the whole width of the facade. A geminate window dominates this gallery. He/it is to note that the gable was exhaussé in a posterior resumption to the construction of the building and that primitively, the sides of the roof formed a less sharp angle.

The walls goutterots of the nave are sustained by enormous struts brought up to the xve century, of which one, to the noon, carry a blazon paints, furnished of three clovers on field of muzzles that is the one of the Gallifets. They are decorated above the windows of a blind arcature that also meet to the apse. The whole bedhead was the object of a more inspired total repairing of the imitation of churches of the same type that by the worry of the restitution of the previous state. The modern bell-tower spoils the outside of the abbey-church. Primitively two towers had to flank the church, dominant each an arm of the transept. The only north tower was finished. But she/it collapsed in 1867 when one demolishes, to clear it, of the buildings that stumbled her. She/it was rebuilt in 1873 and crowned of a polychrome roof of the most deplorable effect.

Inside, the nave has five bays. The lines of the batteries are not rigorously parallel and the last two right batteries are separated one of the another one more that those that face them left. These pillars, squared in the mass, are confined of four committed colonnettes, of which two are going to support the doubleaux of the arches. The marquees are decorated with variety of foliages, characters and fantastic faces. The arch is a cradle in full hanger and determine an enormous thrust that rejected the defensive walls out of the vertical, and required, to the xve century, the construction of the big struts. The collateral naves are covered with half-cradles sustained by doubleaux in broken bow in the first three bays, in full hanger at two following, extradossés of a wall diaphragm. To the west wall of the collateral south and on the stock of the committed column supporting the first arcade, one sees the rests of one manorial liter with a double blazon of which the one of left door : “Of muzzles to the rafter of money accompanied by three clovers of gold”, that is of Gallifet.

The axis of the transept is not perpendicular to the one of the nave. The crossing is arched of a dome on pendants reinforced by eight branches of ogives and has been redone in 1932. The two croisillons is covered with a cradle in full hanger and ends by a bay forming chapel. Bound to the actual transept, the one of the north by two arcades, the one of the noon by one only, these two terminal chapels are surmounted of a tribune. They continue one and the other to the East and are finished on this side by an absidiole that is one modern reconstitution. The chapel of the north is placed under the name of Mélaine saint.

The ch.ur is also he unbalanced in relation to the nave and tilt northbound. He/it is composed of a bay arched of a cradle in full hanger and end by the apse semi - circular arched in ass-of-oven. Five arcades, falling again on cylindrical batteries, separate it of the ambulatory that circulates around him. A blind arcature surmounts these arcades, above of which opens up five windows in full hanger. Three chapels absidales existed primitively. Only the median chapel subsisted. She/it is composed of a bay followed of a semicircular absidiole. One notices of it a statue of the Virgin of the XVIIIe century. The two chapels lateral absidales disappeared at the time of the restoration of the church some 1873.

Under the ch.ur existed a crypt once. The arches of this one collapsed at the time of the bag of 1562 and she/it was filled by debris. In the middle of the XVIIIe century the family of Breteuil made it clear in part to arrange a small vault where several of his/her members are buried there. This vault was ravaged and was stripped of his/her/its lead coffins during the Revolution.

To the south of the church and adjacent to the southern croisillon, subsist a building of the XVIe century, that limits the yard of the cloister of the abbey at the East. His/her/its ground floor is occupied in part by the capitular room, breve and divided in four bays, arched on crossings of ogives falling again on the one hand on the marquee of a central column and on the other hand on ass-of-lamp. A door in bow depressed deal access to this room, illuminated of every side of this door by twin windows circumscribed by a bow in full hanger. To the oriental defensive wall sees itself a crippled bas-relief representing the Crucifixion. Beyond, the facade of this building presents to the ground floor four arcades, condemned today. Above one notices the ravens on which leaned the framework that covered the corresponding gallery with the cloister. The superior floor consists of a room that was the dormitory. Canonical houses of the xve exist to the south of the former yard century, of which one is flanked of an octagonal tower of staircase.