Église Notre-Dame la Grande, Poitiers

Notre- Dame la Grande is an art historically significant former collegiate church in the French city of Poitiers ( Vienne ). The present parish church, which stands in the old town next to the Palace of the Counts of Poitou, is also one of the tourist attractions of the city. She is assigned to the poitevinischen School of Romanesque.


The religious building stands on the site of a documentary mentioned in the year 924 the previous building and was probably built since the end of the 11th century. It was completed around the year 1150.

After 1887, involved extensive reconstructions, in the years 1992 to 1995, a restoration campaign.


The poitevinische Romanesque school is characterized among other things by its rich sculptural refinement. But the Poitou and the surrounding landscapes Angoumois, Saintonge and Bordelais know such a heaping, all floors überwuchernden jewelry. This is one of the characteristics of poitevinischen Bauschule. This also means that lower ground floor facade of the main entrance does not have a tympanum and in addition has two dummy openings, so no real side portals. Often this pattern is repeated three upstairs again at the windows. Here at Notre -Dame de Poitiers has however, have preferred to decorate this top floor also with sculptures. The entire area has been used for scenic representations, not a patch was released. But a strict theological image of the facade program seems not to be based. In a desire to spin tales, the arch of the Old Testament through the New Testament events spanning up to mythological scenes and pure ornamentation.

The interior is strikingly dark. In the 19th century we have used in an effort to reconstruct the old murals to dark colors. Parts of the original painting are preserved in the crypt.

Particularly worth seeing is true, the richly ornamented west facade of the church, have been shown to predominantly biblical motifs. It dates from the mid 12th century and is flanked by two small towers.


The history of the organ of Notre -Dame- la -Grande dates back to 1400. The present organ was completed in 1996 by organ builder Yves Sévère. It is a polyphonic instrument disponiertes with 33 stops on three manuals and pedal. The tracker action are mechanical.