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(Canton of Trouville-sur-Mer, Calvados)

Church of Saint-Pierre

    The existence of the church of St Pierre in Touques is referred to in 1026 in a document of Duke Richard II, but the building which survives today cannot be earlier than the period 1070-1080. The current church probably replaced an older building. It was a dependency of the bishops of Lisieux. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Touques was an important port, situated not far from the ducal residence of Bonneville-sur-Touques, which probably explains the size of the building.

Disused since the Revolution, the church has a highly restored Romanesque nave, reduced to two bays in the 17th century, transepts and a choir with a flat east end, flanked by two small apses. The nave, which dates from c. 1100, has arcades with large cylindrical piers. The crossing has also been restored following a fire, but it does retain some capitals with interesting decoration of quadrupeds, serpents, and flattened heads. The crossing arches, which are slightly pointed, are higher towards the choir and the nave, the transepts having originally been lower than the rest of the building. The crossing supports an octagonal lantern tower erected after 1125, whose openings are decorated with beak heads. The change in plan between the crossing of square plan and the tower is achieved with squinches. 

The choir, on a different axis from the nave, dates, as does the crossing, to the 1180s. It is roofed by a tunnel vault supported by arches, which was quite rare in Normandy during the Romanesque period. There are some other examples of this type of vaulting in the crypt of the priory chapel of St Arnoult and in the choir of the church of Autheuil. The arches are supported on each side by an engaged half column; below the abacus there is a corbel each side of the capital. The first bay of the choir is ornamented with blind arches.


- Baylé, Maylis. " L’église Saint-Pierre de Touques ", dans Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 93 bis
- Baylé, Maylis. - L’architecture normande au Moyen-Age, éditions Charles Corlet, Condé-sur-Noireau, Presses universitaires de Caen, Caen, 1997, 2 vol., T. II, p. 73 à 75
- Musset, Lucien. - Normandie romane, Zodiaque, La Pierre-Qui-Vire, 1987, T. I, p. 42
- " Les siècles romans en Basse-Normandie ", n° spécial Art de Basse-Normandie, n°92, Printemps 1985, p. 91