Church of St. Peter and St. Paul

The Church is built in the shape of a Latin cross. It was built progressively from the 11th to 13th centuries, and in the 16th century the baptismal chapel was added. The church is dedicated to St Peter and St Paul. The nave has beautifully carved wooden vaults. In 1994 the old stained glass windows of the nave were put back. Only the windows of the nave contained the recently replaced stained glass, the other windows were either bricked up or were replaced with clear glass. The choir has three levels. The lower level of the church is 12th century. The triforium and clerestory are 22 m high. The sanctuary keystone is decorated with leaves in the shape of a crown. As we walked around the exterior part of the church the centuries of exposure to the climatic factors was evident in the surface of the stones. The photo of my wife Dorothy standing on the stairs in the front of the church shows the bricked-up windows and the deteriorating condition of the brick façade. Gargoyles, though eroded, were evident along the buttresses of the exterior part of the sanctuary. For a village the size of Gallardon, the church was a testament to the importance of their religion centuries ago.

The church is kept locked so we had to make special arrangements with a Madam Petit, who works in the parish office, to let us in to look around and take pictures. We were told that the church was without a resident priest as the last one had died recently and a replacement had not been appointed. Sunday services are provided by visiting priests from Chartres.

We entered the church via a small door into the sanctuary, which was well lit by the light coming through the clear glass windows high up in the sanctuary. The altar was centered in the sanctuary surrounded by columns. Some seating for people was provided in the sanctuary with most of the seating occurring in the nave of the church. Surrounding the altar and separated by the columns were smaller alcoves along the exterior walls. These alcoves contained altars with either different patron saints or statues of the Blessed Mary as shown in the photograph. As we stepped down into the nave from the sanctuary, we could see the baptismal chapel set off to the right side of the nave. It was rather dark in the nave though the few stained glass windows and a window in the choir loft did provide some light. Standing in the dimly lit nave and looking up to the brightly-lit sanctuary, I could almost sense Nicolas Pelletier and his extended family attending Mass almost 375 years ago.

Outside Sanctuary Inside
Sanctuary - Outside
Sanctuary - Inside

Church Entrance The main altar
Dorothy on the church steps
The Main Altar

Baptismal fount The side altar
Bill at the baptismal fount
The Side Altar

Stained glass window
One of the stained glass windows