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Eglise Saint Sauveur - 1st Eglise Notre-Dame - 2nd Eglise Notre-Dame - Eglise Saint Denis du Pont-de-Vie - About two churches by Florentin Loriot


At the end of the XIXth century, Vimoutiers is very prosperous, and Notre-Dame Church seems too small ...

In 1888, is laid the first stone of a 2nd Notre Dame Church, blessed in 1896.

In 1897, 439 years old 1st Notre-Dame Church is demolished and sold out for its mere building material value.


Thus the two Notre-Dame churches will have coexisted for two brief years on the Monks yard of Vimoutiers.

Charles-Florentin Loriot, poet, composed a pretty testimony of this "duality".



About two churches@, by Charles-Florentin Loriot

"At the other end of the public square, on the eastern side, the side of origins,

the old Church of Vimoutiers stands and asserts in strong relief of dark stone mass against pale sky.

As Real as the other church was ideal, it might have been painted by a Millet, and the other by a Puvis.

The other was of alabaster, this of bronze, if one may use metaphors to clarify.

It was through its unicity that the new church conveyed something of beauty.

But beauty is not only unity, it is variety and if the old building reveals it,

one may say that it is largely through the multiplicity of a hundred picturesque features,
each detail with its effect, each note singing its part,

every profile with its character, every color its emotional appeal.

Here are stones, sandy, and ruddy from the land, corroded by winters,

dislodged by the passage on the market place of westerly winds in tumultuous winters

There, are fillets and ornaments, lined with mosses and weeds.

There, is an entire bed sown with flecks of gold of lichens, recalling the long attentiveness of many suns.

Here color speaks : the dark blue of slates complementing the dark orange of walls,

like rusted steel beside darkened brass.

There, it is the form that suggests, the church is geometrical. The steeple is square, it is a belfry.

It is closed, haunted by some old bronze bell whose cracked voice we might hear as though it were waking from a long slumber.

On its slated mantle, are sound holes, eyes, lucarnes,

a weathervane suspending lead finials, strange reliefs, asperities like those of seashells.
One would believe to be in Norway looking out on ancient roofs inhabited in early times by the dark genius of seamen from the North.

This church .. it is traditional, it is the XVth, it is the XVIth, it is the XVIIth,

It is each of these ages in which the stones were laid, in the changing forms of each preference,

with a view of an eternal purpose."


@Translated from French by NJGJ & Martha