Tourism Chalus > Visit > Trésors d'églises médievales

The treasures of the medieval churches

Even though there was a lot of fighting in the Monts de Châlus, there was a lot of praying as well. Apart from Thavaud (Dournazac), not much remains of the priories, many of which lined the ancient roads to Périgord and the routes to Compostella in particular. On the other hand, the parish churches have survived and every commune of the Monts de Châlus still has at least one religious site dating from the Middle Ages.

The church at Dournazac has kept its 12th century choir, recently restored.

It is also possible to admire the very simple but elegant Romanesque choir of St Nicolas Courbefy (Bussière Galant).

Most of these churches were restored, or even entirely rebuilt, after the ravages of the Hundred Years’ War; this is the case at Bussière Galant with its curious square bell tower which also served as living accommodation, at Lavignac, at Lageyrat, at Pageas with its bell tower clad in chestnut shingles and particularly at Flavignac, rebuilt and enlarged in several stages between the middle of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th century.

Some smaller churches remind us of the existence of former parishes like Courbefy (Bussière Galant), Texon (Flavignac) in the middle of its picturesque village and also Chenevières (Pageas) founded by the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem.

Some of these buildings still contain interesting and even rare objects:

Since 1682 the church at Les Cars has housed one of the most beautiful Limousin goldwork crosses of the 13th century, probably originally from the former Grandmontine priory at Saumur.

The bell tower of the church at Flavignac contains some genuine treasures, including several reliquaries of the 13th to 15th centuries as well as a collection of statuettes and liturgical objects of the 12th to 20th centuries, illustrating the typical contents of rural churches. (Open every day from at least 10am till 5pm.)

In addition, there are beautiful retables (altar-pieces) of the 17th and 18th centuries to be found in these churches, such as Lavignac, Flavignac and Texon, as well as paintings such as those at Les Cars, Flavignac, etc.

These churches are mostly open for non-guided visits every day, except for Lageyrat, Chenevières, Texon, Lavignac and Pageas, for which the keys are available at the Mairie.