11th/12th century church of Saint Ours'
commanding position overlooking the
medieval town of Loches means that its
four towers are visible from almost any
location within the town. This location,
within the citadel walls, has been the
home to a place of worship since the 5th
century but it was not until the 6th
when St.Ours founded a monastery here
that the town slowly began to grow
now dedicated to him (only since the
early 19th century - used to be the
'Church of our Lady) keeps his memory
actual entrance to the church is a bit
uninspiring, once you step under the
porch you are met with a very ornate
portal -probably the main entrance
before the porch was built in the 12th
century,that, even with the damage from
the revolution still apparent, is still
It is only
once you are inside that you see the
effect of the two central towers - added
in the 12 century to replace the roof
over the nave which had been destroyed
by fire. An unusual and rare way to
reinstate a roof and opinions are
divided as to whether the twin hollow
pyramids work architecturally or not.
up at one of the hollow octagonal towers
The nave and alter are
impressive even without their strange
ceiling and once inside it is difficult
not to wander around with your head up
taking in the views.
St Ours collegial church is
the resting place of Agnès Sorel (1422-50)
the first official mistress to a French king
- Charles VII (she was also lady-in-waiting
to his wife, the queen ).Agnes had been very
generous to the church during her lifetime
with her favourite 'chapel of Madeleine'
being a major benefactor.
The church organ.
You have to go back outside to appreciate
the architectural history of the building
with its contrasting end towers and central
...and you really
have to get down below the walls to see
its Romanesque origins - quite the
If you visit
Loches it is well worth
exploring the church of Saint Oars.
Bit of history here.