The South Porch in St Guimiliau

The South Porch of the Church of St Guimiliau was mainly built between 1606-17 and it is thought the carvings were by the Maître de Plougastel and Roland Doréand their workshops.

The South Porch of the Church of St Guimiliau
The South Porch of the Church of St Guimiliau

On the left side of the Porch is a a monk or perhaps a saint I haven’t been able to identify, but the joy of this building lies in the details, and this solemn figure is surrounded by decorative carvings and curious little heads.

The South Porch, St Guimiliau ChurchThe South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

The Archway is richly carved and reads from left to right. This is just a hint of what exists and one could fill a small book with the Archway alone. (More details here.)

Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden
Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden on the left
... and the temptation in the Garden of Eden
… and the Tree of Knowledge and serpent’s temptation in the Garden of Eden on the right
Noah's Ark (bottom R), above that a drunken Noah,
Noah’s Ark (bottom R), above that a drunken Noah

Inside the South Porch the Apostles line both sides, standing on a lintel above an elaborately carved frieze, and over their heads, carved canopies.

The South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

The South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

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Even the base of the columns between the Apostles have little carvings!

The South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

There are double doors into the Church with an elaborately carved surround. The Grouping above the doors has a central figure of Christ apparently carved by Roland Doré, although it seems quite ‘primitive’ to me. 

The South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

The South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

The South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

On the upright columns on either side of the doors are these extraordinary couples – two hairy men , fighting, and a man and a woman. Interestingly the man is on the right – usually this kind of figure is presented with the man on the left:The South Porch, St Guimiliau ChurchThe South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

The Canopy over the stoup looks almost pagan…

The South Porch, St Guimiliau Church

And now it is time to open the door and look inside…

Further information
The South Porch, St Guimiliau
St Guimiliau Church, and here

 

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