Église et aître Saint-Saturnin

Address : Rue Munier, 41000 Blois

Saint-Saturnin church

Saint-Saturnin’s, the parish church of the old suburb of Vienne, is one of Blois’ older churches. Circa 1500, Queen Anne of Brittany donated towards the building of a new church in the Flamboyant Gothic style but only the entrances in the West Front and one doorway on the South side were built. In 1528, the Guild of Boatmen completed the construction with the Renaissance-style chapel dedicated to Saint-Peter.

The church is also famous for its worship of Notre-Dame des Aydes (Our Lady of Assistance), as the votive offerings in the North aisle show.

Aître Saint-Saturnin

An “aître” is a “monumental galleried cemetery”, in other words, an ossuary. It consists of a central garth flanked by four galleries and has often been confused with a cloister. However, a danse macabre carved on the capitals in the South gallery reminds us of its function. The design shows that facing Death are all equal. Built between 1516 and 1520, it became the hospital laundry in 1807. After 1933, however, it was given to Blois Town Council and turned into an archaeology museum.

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