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Eglise-Neuve-d’Issac Town Hall

Sainte-Marie Church
Don’t be misled by the name of the village! The church is one of the oldest in the canton. It is known to exist since the 12th century. At that time, it was a dependency of the Abbey of Charroux in Poitou.
Even though it has been reworked several times, there is still evidence of the earlier construction. Four Roman modillions (sculptures that seem to support a cornice) were put back into the walls in the 15th century, when the steeple was built. The sculptures are two mens’ faces, a horse’s head, and a ram’s head.

The steeple wall is particularly interesting. It is triangular with four openings, and still has the old, 16th century bell. It is beautiful, and is decorated with bas reliefs and inscriptions “in beautiful Gothic” wrote Abbot Brugière. It dates from “the year one thousand VCXXX”. The two other bells are from the 19th century. The lone opening at the top did not have a bell until Abbot Guérin was so moved at the beginning of the century. Not having the means to offer a real bell, he had one made in wood, which he covered in metal.
Lifting your head toward the steeple, you can see a cross that stands out near the top. Just below it, but difficult to see from underneath, a Toulousian cross is carved on the west gable. On the other side (east gable) a fleur-de-lis appears. Under the cross, the Occitane land and the kingdom of France together.

At the bottom of the pitch, two individuals watch us: on one side, a bear, on the other, a rather crude human face. It is the portrayal (relatively common in churches from the 19th century) of one of the last great prehistoric myths. “the legend of Jean of the bear”. At the cornice’s angles, you can make out some representations of animals, including an enormous toad.


Votive festival, the first Sunday in August