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Report 2029: France 2012 Part 1 - The Loire Valley

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2012

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Page 24 of 33: To the Northeast - Église St Etienne de Cheverny

photo by MAW

Nave and chancel

Église St Etienne de Cheverny is across the road from the château and is well worth a visit. The nave is 12thC, the rest later. It has an offset stone tower with tall tiled spire and a very tall, narrow nave with a steep tiled roof. There is a large porch running along the west and south ends of the church with wooden pillars supporting the tiled roof. This is a coquetoire or 'cacklehouse' with seats where the parishioners gathered for public meetings.

The nave has a wooden gallery over the west end supported on metal pillars. There are wooden pews in the nave and a large pulpit. The walls are plaster and have small pictures of the Stations of the Cross with a gilt crucifix on top of the frame. The ribs of the vaulted stone ceiling have carvings at the bottom.

There is wood paneling around the base of the chancel walls. The dark grey and red marble high alter has a white cross on the base. The retable covers the width of the chancel. There are four dark pillars with gilt bases and capitals. In the center is a painting of the Holy Ghost descending on the disciples at Pentecost, in a gilt frame. On either side are statues in recesses.

The south aisle has an altar of white painted wood with gold trim and small host box with a gilt door. Above is an elaborate retable with a statue of the Virgin and Child in an alcove with a gilt cherub head above and topped with two marble cherubim. On either side are small stone statues of St Joseph and Ste Apolline. On the transept pillars are statues of St George with the dragon and St Francis.

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