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(Canton of Ryes, Calvados)

Church of Saint-Manvieu

   The church of Saint-Manvieu in Meuvaines was a dependency of the abbey of Saint-Julien in Tours. It dates overall from the Romanesque period, with the exception of a gothic transept and the upper part of the tower which has been significantly re-worked. The nave was probably erected at the very end of the 11th century. It offers many remarkable elements: the lintel of the north walled door, representing the Last Supper, a theme which is also portrayed in the church of Saint-Martin in Octeville, and the façade, which is reminiscent of the churches in Poitou or Saintonge. The latter, in regular bonding, contrasts with the side walls in fish bone pattern. It is framed by two flat buttresses. The portal is flanked by two blind arches, which do not reflect the internal layout of the nave, which has no aisles. The same effect is found on the façades of the churches of Huppain and Formigny. In the upper part of the façade, there is a range of arches, as at Thaon and Mouen. Two of these arches cover reliefs showing saint Pierre and saint Manvieu. The flat chevet is also worthy of note. This is from a later period, from the 12th century, and arranged in four flat buttresses, a configuration which was rare for that period.


- Bertaux, J.J., - " Contribution à l’étude de l’art roman en Normandie : L’architecture des églises paroissiales romanes de l’ancien doyenné de Creully ", dans Annales de Normandie, mars 1966, 16ème année, n°1, p. 3 à 32, (p. 10)
- Caumont, Arcisse (de). - Statistique monumentale du Calvados, Hardel, Caen, 1859, T. II, p. 557 à 561
- Musset, Lucien. - Normandie romane : I, Basse-Normandie, Zodiaque, La Pierre-Qui-Vire, 1987, p. 24
- Les siècles romans en Basse-Normandie, Art de Basse-Normandie, n° 92, Printemps 1985, p. 115, 126