The Church of St Salomon, La Martyre

The Church of St Salomon, in La Martyre was built in the 14C by the Rohan family, replacing an earlier church, Notre Dame du Merzer. Ar Merzher means ‘the martyr’, King Salomon of Brittany who assassinated in 874 even though he had sought refuge in the Church. He was canonised in 910 and the original church became a site of pilgrimage.  And one thing lead to another. Pilgrims brought trade, and this developed in to a fair, supported by the Rohan  family which built and controlled the bridge in nearby Landerneau.)

plan-of-la-martyre-church

The Church, a fabulous Parish Enclosure, was largely destroyed by a storm in 1450  (as the church would have been built of stone it must have been a tremendous storm…) and then rebuilt in the remainder of the 15C. The main road leads past the Triumphal Arch, and this is the view which everyone knows. And next to the Church is the Watch House, a lookout post for guarding the borders of Cornouaille, apparently.

The Church of St Salomon, La Martyre

The Triumphal Arch into the Church of St Salomon, La Martyre

The Triumphal Arch into the Church of St Salomon, La Martyre

The old Watch House, later converted into an inn

The West Door is the oldest part of the Church and curious masks and a cross are carved into the door surround.

The West End of La Martyre ChurchThe West End of La Martyre Church

The small Ossuary was commissioned in 1619 from the Maître de Plougastel. It is tucked away on the side of the building next to the West Door, with an ornate façade, and curious caryatid figures, a complimentary telamon, and St Pol.

The Ossuary, La Martyre Church

The Ossuary, La Martyre Church

The Tympanum of the Ossuary, La Martyre Church

The main church is difficult to photograph because it is tightly surrounded with buildings, but if you walk around the back it is suddenly revealed, together with the Sacristy of 1699, the final addition to the complex.

The Sacristy, and the Church of St Salomon, La martyreThe Church of La Martyre

Further information
The Church of La Martyre
The Rohan family

 

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