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Rieux-Minervois - Église de l'Assomption | by Martin M. Miles
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Rieux-Minervois - Église de l'Assomption

The "Église de l'Assomption" (aka "Rotonde Sainte Marie") is a little church dating back to the 12th century. Th church is locked "normally", but an office next door will hand out the key for a small fee. I had been here twice before. First time, the office was closed, second time a wedding was going on - and I was not invited. This time I was lucky!

MAter of Cabestany",

The layout of the church is very special, as this it is a polygon with 14 sides. In the middle stands a cupola supported by 7 arcades resting on pillars. The dome is 18 metres high.


But the most special here is not the layout, but - inside the humble looking church are works of the here are works of the "Maître de Cabestany" ("Master of Cabestany"), similar in style as the ones just seen in Saint Papoul.


Actually some authors see this capital, left to the entrance, depicting pairs of birds, as a work of art by the "Maître de Cabestany". For the author André Bonnery the Maître may even been the architect of this church. I doubt that he was an architect as well - as more than 120 carvings, plus chapels and churches is just too much for a medival lifetime. I doubt as well that this capital was carved by him (or the "Maître-studio") as this capital is just too simple.


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Taken in July 2011