Normally as you approach a town or village here in France the first thing you see is the steeple of the church and following it will normally take you to the centre of the village or town. This is, of course, if they do not have a chateau or keep, as these were predominately built on the higher ground. Such is the case at Montbazon where the keep or 'dungeon' is the first thing you catch sight of... well actually it's the somewhat out of place statue of the Virgin Mary perched atop, you see first. You might think you'd find the church underneath but no,it's tucked away in the corner of the square with its steeple not appearing to even try to compete.
The view from the square does not exactly entice the visitor.
You have to walk along the tight Rue des Moulins to actually find the entrance to the church....
but this 18th century church (replaced an earlier 16th century example) is worth seeking out - what a pleasant surprise awaits you!
The barrel vaulted nave's ceiling and walls have been elaborately painted ...
providing too many distractions to your eyes to take in immediately, you have to stop and take stock!
The stencilled artwork is set around ornate stained-glass windows from the prolific 19th century 'Lobin' factory in Tours. The two centre windows above the altar depict key moments in the life of Mary to whom the church is dedicated. She herself is on the left with John the baptist on the right.
I don't know how long it took the artists but it must have been some commission!
The baptismal font has an appropriate painting of John the Baptist doing what he did best as a backdrop.
Where's Joan in all of this ... she would only ever be second fiddle to Mary...so no place for her!
Though Barbara is well represented!
If you find yourself stuck in the congestion that can be Montbazon pull into the car park and seek out this little gem!