This Sunday we are in Montrichard in the department of the Loir et Cher to visit the church of Notre-Dame de Nanteuil which can be found to the west of the town centre.
There are two other churches in the town centre but this is the largest and most interesting. Like many of the regions churches it has gone through a lot of changes throughout the centuries to become what it is today.Its earliest features date back to the 11th century. From the rear it looks like a typical Romanesque design and as you pass through the front door it looks fairly standard.
It has a single nave with a transept and apse
It is not until you are directed to the 'pilgrimage sanctuary' within the high chapel up a set of stairs that it becomes interesting.
The ornately decorated chapel has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries with Catholics coming to pray in front of the statue of the Virgin Mary. What had brought them here to Montrichard was a miraculous fountain which was supposed to have healing powers - its waters were said to blessed by Saint Martin de Tours who then used it to baptise Christian converts.
King Louis XI made frequent pilgrimages here and I think he was responsible for this extension to the church
The outside stairway is a rather unsympathetic addition.