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Semur-en-Brionnais - Saint-Hilaire | by Martin M. Miles
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Semur-en-Brionnais - Saint-Hilaire

Hugh of Cluny (aka "Hugh the Great", "Saint Hugh", "Hugh of Semur"), abbot of Cluny, was born in this little village (one of the "Plus beaux villages de France") in May 1024. Hugh had the third abbey church at Cluny (aka Cluny III) built, the largest structure in Europe for centuries. He as well had Paray-le-Monial built, he founded Charité-sur-Loire, he was the godfather of Emperor Henry IV (see "Goslar) and an important mediator in the Investiture Controversy.

 

And Hugh had the former collegiate church Saint-Hilaire, a basilica on a "cluniacensic blueprint" built in his home-village. The construction started of the church 1120/1130.

 

To the right of the lintel, that tells a story out of the life of Saint Hillary, is this capital.

 

A Luxuria with a snake and a toad. I have seen a couple of Luxurias over the time, but this one has, compared to others, a strange face. Either, she wears a cap - and these are hair hanging down, or she has a beard, or a combination out of these two. Or these are all wrinkels, standing as a symbol for an "old" and or "ugly" face.

 

Luxuria is not alone, there is somebody around the corner. Seen on the next shot.

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Taken in April 2011