1. The Western Façade (around 1120-1130 AD)
A veritable jewel of romanesque art in the Saintonge region. It was constructed during the 12th century and comprises :
- a ground floor central entrance door interestingly without a sculpted tympanum and with bloched-in latéral arcades.
- on the next level up the elevation is organised into three sections.
- an upper section with a pediment which was rebuilt at the end of the 16th centurye.
The layout of the sculptures in the arches around the entrance door
In the central section, from inner to outer, the archivolts around the central door represent :
- The hand of God carried in a halo by two angels who bless the faithful who enter into the church,
- The Lamb with a cross framed by the symbols of the Evangelists: the Angel (Saint Matthew), the Bull (Saint Luke), the Eagle (saint John), the Lion (Saint Mark).
- The next two arches represent the Massacre of the Innocent and the Elderly of the Apocalypse
holding goblets and musical instruments.
- On the righthand side arch, the last supper is shown, Jesus centrally positioned surrounded by his apostles.
- On the lefthand side arch, Christ blesses the first five characters who seem to be following him in his ascension,
it is a symbolic scene which invokes Heaven.
The style of work of the Notre Dame entrance can be found right across the Saintonge region.
It has been applied to numerous rural churches such as Colombiers, Marignac and Avy-en-Pons as well as Aulnay church to the north of the department.
Béranger and the façade sculpture
A certain Mr Béranger undoubtedly oversaw the work on the façade. The bell-tower façades are also probably
the result of his work and his craftsmen. His epitaph is still legible on the north side of Notre Dame church
to the lefthand corner of the façade. “Alas, this stone covers Béranger’s ashes. it was through his skillful craft that this church was built. The deceased person that is now covered by a stone wanted to sculpt stones. It is with stone that Pierre worshipped the Lord.”