Nouvelle Aquitaine Section
Tayac Church - Les Eyzies - Vezere Valley
Tayac along the Vézère
Ancient folks indeed found refuge in the shelters and galleries the river hollowed throughout the millennia and left their mark on the walls of their caves.
This attractive region therefore boasts a wealth of exceptional archaeological sites.
As a result UNESCO listed the Vézère Valley as a World Heritage Site.
Tayac is situated at the confluence of the rivers Vezere and Beune, and therefore has one of the highest concentration of prehistoric sites.
It merged with Les Eyzies in 1905, then with Sireuil in 1973.
They now form the municipality of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil.
Fortified Romanesque church of Tayac
Tayac might have been inhabited since the dawn of time, but the village dates from the 12th century.
It indeed developed when the monks of Paunat (east of Le Bugue) built a monastery.
All that is left of this monastery is the fortified church that was built with the beautiful golden coloured limestone of the region.
The Church of Tayac is a perfect illustration of fortified religious architecture.
It is recognizable for its austere style and its massive walls opened with loopholes.
Two crenellated towers tiled with lauzes (limestone slabs) frame the main building.
The tower located above the entrance porch serves as a bell tower.
The porch is an interesting mix of Gallo-Roman and Neo-Oriental architectures.
It indeed consists of a series of six arches supported by columns.
A pair of Corinthian columns in blue marble, reminiscent of the Gallo-Roman architecture, support the second arch.
The style of the inner arch, which frames the wooden door, is Oriental.
This unusual style was most likely introduced during the early Crusades.
The church has three naves separated from each other by arches; these are supported by pillars and topped by a timber work ceiling.
A little church well worth the detour when in Les Eyzies.
Coordinates: Lat 44.943986 - Long 1.005152