The 12th century collegiate church was fortified by abbott Guillaume de l’Hermite, some time between 1420 and 1430 in the Hundred Yeras’ War context, as part of the town’s vast fortification project. The main element added to the ensemble was this high defensive tower, on the central apse, equipped with several arrowslits and brattices with machicolations to shoot at assailants. A round path was added on to the north side and as were shooting stations in the towers of the transept and on the western facade.
In 1567, during the Religious Wars, the church was besieged by the Protestants, who stole its precious furniture.
In 1861, the diocesan architect Pierre Chabrol planned to have the fortified tower taken down, to give the church its original look, which was quite common at the time. However, in the end, only the towers’ shooting windows were removed.
Jacques Pérot, who applied for the « Ostensions Limousines » UNESCO registration, explains the medieval roots of this tradition. Laurent Gouneau, the town’s…
Find out how and why the fortified tower became part of the collegiate church’s harmonious architecture in the 15th century.
In the 16th century, a court of law opened in Le Dorat, to settle all court cases in the entire Basse-Marche area. It used to be located where the Carmelite…