Saint_Menoux_21Halfway located Mills and of Bourbon Archambault, Saint-Menoux has a remarkable church.

Menoux, or Ménulphe (the inhabitants of the village are Ménulphiens), Irish bishop, was born in VIIème century. From Ireland, it went to Great Britain, then in Armorique to Quimper where it was ordered to priest then bishop.

Saint_Menoux_16To the return of a voyage in Rome, exhausted and sick, it arrived at the small village of Mailly-on-pink, become Saint-Menoux, where it stopped to take some rest. It is there that he died one July 12, the year not being known. Before returning the last sigh, it had asked to be buried the cemetery of Saint-Germain.

Saint_Menoux_9Its tomb became a place of pélerinage, since its servant, Blaise, simple of spirit (bredin in speaking local) undertook to bore a hole in the sarcophagus of sound maitre in order to be able to pass the head inside and to be nearer thus to that which it venerated. It would have left there “débrediné”, cured thanks to Menoux.
A monastery was created to honour its memory. 

Saint_Menoux_2In XIème century, its relics were transported in a church built in its honor. It became abbey church of a convent of bénédictines. In XIème century, one altered the transept and one built the current bell-tower. The nave and the sides were taken again internally with the XV ème century. For XVIème century, it was necessary to rebuild the cloitre and partially the church. The revolution destroyed the buildings and the storm of 1806 carried the bell-tower. The church was saved by its classification with the inheritance in 1837.

Saint_Menoux_17One can still see in the narthex an old bored sarcophagus of a hole. It would be the genuine sarcophagus of Saint Menoux, that one even as Blaise bored. With its side, that of Blaise. The débredinoire would have been replaced by a tomb more adapted to the increasingly many visits. The relics of the saint were placed there. One can still see them through the glazed openings.

Saint_Menoux_planIt is located in the chorus, behind the furnace bridge, with crossed aquiferous networks, telluric and crowned. A cosmo-telluric chimney overcomes the whole. The remainder of the church being badly irrigated, the manufacturers called upon the memory of water by posing a network of three rivers out of rollers.

Allier_1151If one places the head in the semicircular opening of the sarcophagus, after having set out in the church, the ideas become clearer, I can testify some… Just a thing: it is clearly advised (according to the panel posed with the top) not “to devote itself to superstitious practices”…

Saint_Menoux_10Behind the débredinoire, in the axis of the nave, a bust reliquary of Menoux Saint, then in the absidiole, a mutilated low-relief appearing a Christ blessing sitted. Around him, the symbols of the tétramorphe. It would be a fragment of the old tomb of Menoux Saint. One finds also two fragments of the pavement of XIIIème century, with cement and lead incrustation.



The church

Saint_MenouxThe frontage is that of XIème century with only some fragments of the small primitive apparatus. Behind the pinion of the nave bored of a occulus rises. The buttresses in north are of XVème century whereas in the south the vestiges of a cloister of the end of the Gothic take shape.

Saint_Menoux_1The bedside is distributed in supported radiating chapels of buttress-columns to the leafy capitals. Modillons with chips and cordillon of billets decorate the unit.

The square bell-tower of XIIIème century is surmounted today by a modern frame, the stone arrow being collapsed at the beginning of the XIXème century.

The plan of the church is included/understood in a 62 meters length rectangle on 16 meters broad, with radiating chapels grafted on the déambulatoire surrounding the apse.

The narthex

Saint_Menoux_18The oldest part of the church (about 1100), the narthex form a vast room in trapezoid divided into three vessels of three spans by columns installed out of drum.


Saint_Menoux_30The decoration of the capitals is simple, but already a history tells us, in particular the leaned lions and the crosiers. With the top of the arcades, a cornice of billets supported by let us modillons. The plan follows two faults, this is why it is not right.

It is here that we find the sarcophagi mérovingiens and baptismal funds of XIIème century.

The nave

Saint_Menoux_3Applied to the narthex in XIIème century, not very wide (20 meters), begun again in XVème century and provided with vaults on intersecting ribs, it is divided into three vessels of three spans each one. The northern side preserved its primitive cradle in semicircular arch, on beams.



The transept

Saint_Menoux_13It completion date of XIIème century and the beginning of the XIII ème. The architecture of crossing attests penetration of the new Gothic style: intersecting ribs launched on a very high level, bottom of lamp with masks and hooks, double bays geminated under arcades of discharge.


Saint_Menoux_34It is told that several undergrounds slip by under the church, in diagonal under the nave. One of them would arrive in the staircase inside one of the central pillars.


Saint_Menoux_5Gone back to approximately 1150, it is out of calcareous stone of average apparatus. The Romanesque art of Burgundian influence is achieved here at the same time by the width of its proportions and the elegance of its ornamentations.
The plan is that of the large Romance buildings, with some original elements, semicircular apse, framed of a déambulatoire open on five radiating chapels and preceded by two right spans, vaults of axis.


Saint_Menoux_12The dash ascentionnel is moderated by a plank decorated with broad Greek beaded and a line of oves. With the birth of the vault, a stringcourse of checkerworks. The faults, water, the tellurism and the chimney are represented there.
The capitals are here very speaking. They are of Burgundian style and present many topics, of which scratch them drinking with the same chalice.


Saint_Menoux_24The marble stoup which accomodates us is polished through being cherished by the many hands of the visitors… 
And as usual, a small guard on the steps of the church.