Jul. 19th, 2012

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I shall return to the south of France now, and the Church of Notre Dame de Lamourguie in Narbonne.  It appears to have had its origins in the ninth century, though the earliest architectural evidence on the site is the remains of a Romanesque church dating to the thirteenth century.


129CarvedStoneMuseumNarbonne


The main central doorway is Romanesque in style, but the church had a gothic makeover a few centuries later, and it's this gothic structure which dominates the site.

It's in the typical meridional gothic style, which I've illustrated previously in posts devoted to the Cathedral of Saint Michael and the Church of Saint Vincent in Carcassone.  Like these other examples, it has an apsidal-ended chancel, and a turreted tower adjoining the south wall.  The crenellations are not for show: originally, this church formed part of the early town's defence system:-



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131CarvedStoneMuseumNarbonne




The church is no longer in use as such.  Instead it has found a secondary function as a museum, and as such, it gained my vote as the weirdest and most outlandish monument of the entire trip.  Why?  Well, we'll find out tomorrow, but in the meantime, here's a close up of the doorway which gives a slight clue as to its new purpose:-


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