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Time & Space Travels
Haut-Langoiran
Saint-Pierre-ès-Liens


Haut-Langoiran is a village of Aquitaine nestled in the sea of vineyards of the Bordeaux region.

The church, dedicated to Saint Peter in Chains, dates back to the 11th century and has undergone many alterations over the centuries. The most nefarious one dates back to 1864 when the Archbishop of Bordeaux, Monsignor Donnet, decided to modernize the Romanesque churches of his diocese in the neo-gothic style and commissioned the thing the willing architect Paul Abbadie.

The church had been the subject of a respectful restoration in 1846, and scholars commented on the new restoration with these words:
'...dix-huit ans plus tard, en 1864, le vandalisme architectural de Paul Abadie, soutenu par les vanités archiépiscopales de Mgr Donnet, allait défigurer cette partie de l'église pour y implanter une flèche prétentieuse et une sacristie, à la suite de quoi, certains esprits avisés n'hésitèrent pas à dénoncer ces embellissements désastreux'.
(...eighteen years later, in 1864, the architectural vandalism of Paul Abadie, supported by the archbishop's vanity of Bishop Donnet, would have disfigured this part of the church to implant a pretentious spire and a sacristy, and as a result some wise spirits did not hesitate to denounce these disastrous embellishments).

In practice, the façade dating back to 8 centuries earlier was destroyed to make way for the bell tower and the sacristy..

The church of Lestiac also had a similar fate.

Fortunately, some suggestive testimonies of the Romanesque remain, almost to make us regret what human stupidity has irreparably destroyed.

Among the surviving sculptures there is a two-tailed mermaid.
But there is also a player of dolio (a figure particularly common in the churches of this area).

There are also some capitals inside the church: among these a Daniel in the lion's den (the stone cutter must not have seen many lions in the 12th century Aquitania ...) and an adoration of the Magi with a star guide.