nested in these mountains, has an antic and rich past. Men
left there marks of all the times: from Gallo-roman period, where an activity develop itself nearby the thermal baths to the medieval time with the site of
Donzy, the church of Roman style, priory…
But also far before, attested by the discovery of the prehistoric site
of the valley of Charpassonne. Salt, whom name means “which
spouts out”, allusion to the source of hot water of the Gour-Heat, was
an important city at the crossing of two Roman roadways.
The church was, with its foundation, the church of the benedictan priory whose building equipped with a tower remains, not far from the road. This building whose foundations are Gallo-Roman, was given in 1018 in a state of outdatedness to the abbey of Savigny to become priory at the same time as a church close under the term to Saint Julien. The givers were two lords of Donzy, Girlin and Jarenton, whose castle still offers to us imposing ruins, about two km from here.
Recent excavations restored the foundations of this primitive church of 1018. It had three absidioles in the north visible on the northern side of the current church. Its basement comprised many burials of the Early middle ages with their funerary rites (ablation of the feet, reduction of skeleton). Fragments of engraved bones and a burgonde currency accompanied them, as well as potteries.
This pre-Roman church was demolished at the beginning of XIIth century, and its materials reinstated in the new construction industry, with the use of the monks and the parish which developed around the priory.
pilot wheels of the transept are decorated with blind arcades of which
one, equipped with a barrel of column having probably supported a
furnace bridge, ended in a painted absidiole. Cupola in blocking on
rudimentary horns and squared pillars supported the bell-tower.
chorus presents openings in semicircular arch: the small window of left
gives primitive dimension, the other openings having been widened
With transept crossing, the bell-tower rests on four enormous granite pillars. Each pillar comprises 3 steps in order to give more lightness to the unit. Two of these pillars are crowned with very simple capitals: they are the only sculptures of the building.
On the meridionnal side , in the right arm of the transept, the blank wall is supported by two arcades in semicircular arch. Between the two, a fragment of column, vestige of the Roman temple on the ruins of which the priory of Salt was high.
The church suffered during the wars of religion. In 1570, a fire destroyed the nave. The church was then reduced to its only transept. Work of restoration was undertaken after 1614. The restoration of 1977 made it possible to restore the church in its primitive provision and made fall the coatings. One rediscovered the blind arcades of the southern brace then, the door of the bell-tower, the door of the brace northern, known as “door of the monks”.
In the apse, a cavity forming “depositorium” was released and formed the current gate vault. The depositorium was in the beginning an inviolable place, firmly closed, where one placed the holy species during the disturbed periods.