When the first lords were established on the rock of Pierre-Acute, at the bottom of the small valley which Beaujeu occupies, extended, if one believes a very probable tradition of it, a small lake. The way coming from Belleville gained altitude by the mountainsides of Gonty to arrive at the fortress of the lords. It is there, under the protective walls of the castle, that Beaujeu starts to be born. The construction of the Church of St-Nicolas, about 1130, created a new point of attraction for the many craftsmen whom to Beaujeu his situation brought on the main road of the Saone in the Loire. In, 1260, the city obtained from Guichard IV the privileges similar to those of Villefranche. Consequently it took a rapid development.
The church Saint Nicolas's Day in Beaujeu
It is one of the most important Romance churches of the Beaujolais. It is on February 12, 1132 that the church was devoted by the pope Innocent II, come to France to seek a support against its candidate, Antipape Anicet II (Pierre of Leon). Passing by Beaujeu, it devoted the church and dedicated it to Saint Nicolas's Day, which was the owner of the monastery of which he had been the Abbot.
church had been rested by powerful Lord of Beaujeu, Guichard III.
The legend tells that the place where this church is established was a
pond. The son of prince Guichard III, coming back from hunting, there
desired to make drink its horse and fell inside and did not appear any
more; the news of this accident, if unexpected, being carried to
his mother, it dedicated to make build a church in the place
where his son appears, this wish was not rather stated a mouth of
this princess, that the prince wire was seen, to go up bottom of the
pond to the top, with the result that Guichard III made build the
church in the place where it is still present.
by its antiquity, it is the oldest monument of the city. It is the clunisian
bell-tower in the shape of lantern, ending in a surmounted
cross of a cock. This kind was in honor in XIIth century.
It is a heavy square bell-tower with three floors: the higher stage is bored on each face of two windows with semicircular arch whose interior repercussion of the archivolts comes to rest on a solid mass of three posts laid out in half-quincunxes; the repercussion external of the archivolts is done on confined jambs each one of a post. The two groups of coupled windows are separated by an imbedded column which, resting on the cord from where the stage rises, will support the cornice of the arrow. The vertical edges of the bell-tower are confined themselves, each of the two posts. The median stage has only one window deadened in semicircular arch on confined jambs of posts. The lower stage, very low, is blind.
A long nave, without column or pillar, is lit by seven windows: three on the gate and four in the nave, this one is separated from the transept by a large wall on which two powerful against forts with projections contrebute the pillars of the bell-tower; this wall is bored of a large arc triumphing in warhead doubled, heightened, and laterally of two narrow passages arched high in gothic arch. The spans of the chorus are arched, the power station, in broken cradle, the external ones in compartments of edges. The dimension of the nave is 30 meters of the gate to the chorus, and 12 meters width. Two small apses or absidioles, arched like the principal one, flank this one, enlightened each one by a window in semicircular arch.
square of the transept, which communicates with the span of chorus by
an arcade in doubled warhead, is circumscribed by four strong square,
confined pillars imbedded columns and supporting an octagonal cupola on
horns. The arms of crossing, arched in cradle by a window, they are
separated from the chorus by simple arcs and square of the transept by
doubled arcs; all are in broken clotheshanger.
In the center of transept crossing, a flagstone of gray color makes in kind separate the heart from the body. Practical useful when the coffin of the late top is posed.
Pilasters of the Apse
apse, in half dome, is surrounded - what is rare - of a blind arcade
with five bays in semicircular arch; two outsides blind, the three
others, are remade, splayed in contrary direction. The repercussions of
the arcs attenuate on pilasters.
These pilasters, which, in the apse, frame the stained glasses, are four, with capitals made up of different reasons. These sculptures representing of the garlands, the erudite spirals, made decorations of complicated interlacings.
seem to take again the symbolic system of the pillars of Avenas,
less complete. We find the 7 chakras with the flower corresponding
to the organs which they control, then a kundalini on the basis of the
mouth of a man. Sheets of acanthuses and pinks of Jericho supplement
The vault saint-Anne
This vault was built at the period of the beautiful Gothic style blazing, i.e. towards the beginning of XVth century.
The vault is furnished with erudite veins, which come to resort to the four angles in finely carved corbels which would reveal more details if they were not covered with painting. The keystone is notched.
The vault is lit by a remarkable opening divided by a central mullion, which interlaces with those of slack with much of grace the figurines circumvented in the warhead. It is a pity which time did not respect the stained glass which furnished this opening, a simple window replaces it.
The furnace bridge of the vault is out of wood. In a niche dug with the top of the gate vault, one sees a large statue of Holy Anne upright. On his left, one still finds the Marie Blessed Virgin young girl, holding an open book and reading the Holy Scriptures under the monitoring of his mother.
With the foot of the statues, a small cask on which one reads: “Brotherhood of saint Anne. 1866. ” indicates that Saint Anne is the owner of the vine growers. Isn't it the grand' mother of Jesus, whose first miracle was to change water into wine with the wedding at Cana?
The recess of the vault
The recess is this depression in the partition wall of the nave of the
vault, depression whose wall is openwork by superb openings cut in the
stone. Its dimension is 2,20 m basic, 0,60 depth m. The word “enfeu” (recess)
comes from "enfouir" (to burn) and indicates a kind of funerary vault practised in a
wall, as one sees some in the catacombs.
It is claimed that after the dead of a Lord of Beaujeu, his body was exposed in this recess before the burial. The shape, the size and especially the etymology of the word "enfeu", to hide, to burn, seem to be probable.