The Abbey of St Melaine’s tower appeared through the trees of The Thabor Gardens at the end of our walk and proved to be another ‘must-visit’ in this amazing town of Rennes.
The original church dates to the 5C and was built around the tomb of St Melaine, Bishop of Rennes. The church burned down in 7C and again in 10C but was rebuilt on both occasions. Most of today’s Abbey of Saint Melaine seems to date from 14C and 15C, except for the transept which is the remains of the Romanesque Church, and the tower which is 17C. The plan below (in the church) was not dated but shows the extent of the Abbey and its gardens in earlier times, perhaps pre-17C.
I loved the atmosphere in this building – quiet, calm. It was hot and sticky outside and one might argue that the contrast was a relief, as it was, but there was also a feeling of peace. Others have found it dull, bereft of ornamentation, but I liked the lack of distraction and the softness of the light.
Signs of the age of the building were in traces of wall painting, colours on columns, and a small carved block inset in a wall.