Church Sainte-Radegonde of Talmont visitor guide

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The Church of Sainte-Radegonde is an impressive roman style church in the village of Talmont-sur-Gironde, overlooking the Gironde estuary.

Explore the Church Sainte-Radegonde in Talmont-sur-Gironde

France This Way review: an interesting monument to visit, the church Sainte-Radegonde is on the edge of Talmont-sur-Gironde, classified among the "most beautiful villages of France", and on the coast with attractive views along the Gironde estuary, so a visit is recommended

Entrance arches to church Sainte-Radegonde

The church of Sainte-Radegonde was originally built here, in a clifftop position, by benedictine monks from Saint-Jean-d'Angely in the middle of the 12th century, an epoch in which the roman style was often used for church construction.

The church was fortified in the 13th century, when Talmont-sur-Gironde was designated as a bastide town.

One of the pilgrimage routes in medieval times passed through Saintes, Talmont-sur-Gironde and then across the river to continue at Soulac-sur-Mer.

In the late 14th century the facade and a part of the nave collapsed into the sea during a storm and were rebuilt in the 15th century in the gothic style. The remainder of the structure is as it was in the 12th century and many roman features can still be seen.

During the last 100 years various renovation works have been carried out to ensure the church is as close as possible to its original design. There was also a very high risk that the erosion of the cliff below the church would lead to the church collapsing, so this cliff has now been reinforced.

 
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The architecture of the outside of Church Sainte-Radegonde includes the original 12th century chevet at the rear of the church, and an impressive facade on the north side of the church, with a row of blind roman style arches above the church entrance, which also has arches with carved stone.

The arches either side of the doorway represent heaven and hell and the central arches show an animal on a leash and various human characters as well as a symbolic lamb.

There are further carvings around the chevet of the church, although these are in very poor condition except for those that were added as part of a renovation project in the 1960s.

Inside the church of Sainte-Radegonde is more modest in design, partly because the part of the nave that collapsed in the 15th century was not replaced, so the church has lost its original "latin cross" layout.

You can see some carved capital stones, statues of Sainte-Radegonde and Sainte-Thérèse, and ship that was given to the church in the 19th century as a tribute and offering to those who risk their lives at sea.

Cemetery

After exploring the church, you can take a look at the adjacent cemetery, surrounded by a stone wall. In the cemetery you can see both simple gravestones and imposing cenotaphs.

For most of the spring and summer the cemetery has lots of hollyhock flowers between the graves.

Attractions nearby

Of course, you will also want to explore the pretty streets of Talmont-sur-Gironde while you are here, and see the coast views from the church and village.

At nearby Meschers-sur-Gironde you can see and visit some ancient troglodyte dwellings carved into the cliff and overlooking the sea, and Royan is a pleasant seaside resort about 15 kilometres from here.

See more churches in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Poitou-Charentes guide.

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Photos of Church Sainte-Radegonde of Talmont

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  • ceiling
  • cemetery (1)
  • cemetery (2)
  • church stonework
  • church-chevet
  • facade
  • hollyhocks
  • nave
  • portal
  • view-from-church
  • views-of-church (1)
  • views-of-church (2)
  • views-of-church (4)

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Visit near Church Sainte-Radegonde of Talmont with France This Way reviews

Talmont

Talmont

Talmont-sur-Gironde is one of the prettiest villages in Charente-Maritime, well known for the imposing roman style church

Talmont guide
Meschers-sur-Gironde

Meschers-sur-Gironde

The beaches and rocky coast attract visitors to Meschers, and you can also see troglodyte cave dwellings

Meschers-sur-Gironde guide
Le Verdon-sur-Mer

Le Verdon-sur-Mer

The small resort of Le Verdon-sur-Mer is quiet but has long sandy beaches

Le Verdon-sur-Mer guide
Royan

Royan

At Royan you will enjoy the beaches and also the promenade along the seafront

Royan guide
Saint-Vivien-de-Medoc

Saint-Vivien-de-Medoc

While Saint-Vivien-de-Medoc would not be considered a tourist destination, you might like to stop and admire the church when you are passing

Saint-Vivien-de-Medoc guide
Soulac-sur-Mer

Soulac-sur-Mer

Soulac-sur-Mer is a long established beach resort at the north of the Medoc peninsula

Soulac-sur-Mer guide

The French version of this page is at Church Sainte-Radegonde of Talmont (Francais)