Eglise Sainte Radegonde, Poitiers

#3 of 53 in Historic Sites in Vienne
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Church of Sainte-Radegonde is a medieval Roman Catholic church in Poitiers, France, dating from the 6th century. It takes its name from the Frankish queen and nun, Radegund, who was buried in the church. Considered a saint, the church became a place of pilgrimage by those devoted to her heavenly intercession. The current church, constructed from the 11th to 12th centuries, was built in a combination of Romanesque and Angevin Gothic architectural styles.
The church was established as a mortuary chapel in the 6th century to hold the remains of the nuns of St. Mary Abbey, later the Abbey of the Holy Cross, which had been founded in Poitiers by Radegund in 552 as the first monastery for women in the Frankish Empire. Due to its function, the chapel was built outside the city walls, which gave it its initial name, the Church of St. Mary outside the Walls (Sainte-Marie-hors-les-murs). Upon Radegund's death and subsequent burial there in 587, however, the chapel was renamed to be placed under her patronage.
The remains of the saintly foundress were exhumed by order of Abbess Béliarde in 1012 for public veneration, and the entire church was rebuilt after a major fire in 1083. The reconstruction expanded the structure, including both a chevet and the foundations of a bell tower when it was dedicated in 1099. By this time, the chapel had become both a parish and collegiate church, staffed by a community of canons whose prior was appointed by the abbess.
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  • A great church built on top of the grave of a Merovingian queen. This place has and still is a spot to visit for pilgrims. It’s free to go in and don’t miss the crypt. It’s sad there’s so little...  more »
  • I visited this church twice yesterday...firstly as part of a walk I was doing to see the sights of Poitiers, and later because of the coincidental fete that was happening there in the evening to...  more »
  • This is a very beautiful church not far down the hill from Cathedrale St Pierre. It is not as light as the Gothic church, and fewer people. Beautiful frescoes have survived above the choir. What you have to go here to see is the tomb. There is a crypt under the choir with the remains of St Agnes of Poitiers, among others. The stone sarcophagus is really eye catching lit around with candles. Don't miss
  • Great Church to visit.
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