The church of the 12th century is the main element of Saint Denis d’Anjou. Built in the rock such as fortified castles, she has always dominated the village. She is characterized by her romanesque style, remarkable with her triplicate arches portal’s. At the end of the 15th century, the church was extended, that is why there is also a gothic style. Outside of the church, at the feet of the stairs, looking toward the portal, you can see on the right the last arch, which isn’t finished. This arch is cut with the construction of the chapel.That shows that the construction of the chapel happened later, at the end of the 15th century.
From outside, we can see a tower which is a part of the church, from her construction. This tower allows to access the bell tower through a spiral staircase. There are three openings in this tower, we call them loopholes. They enable to respond against the adversery with arrows for example. During the Hundred Years’ War, English peoplehad attacked the village in the year 1441. As a result, the residents of the village took refuge in the tower of the church, as a fortified castle. Finally, they wereset free by the lords of Anjou and Sarthe.
Inside of the church, the mural paintings of the 16th century representhagiographic periods. They were inspired by the book “Légende Dorée” written by Jacques de Voragine. One of this paintings is the “Décollation of Saint jean-Baptiste”.
The church of Saint Denis d’Anjou is listed as Historical Monuments.
Practical information : the church is continually accessible, do not hesitate to cross the door which remains open to the public.
With more 500 years old, the covered market of Saint Denis d’Anjou shows the commercial past of the village. Originally, it was built to respond commercial exchanges, it was “the square of markets”. Built in 1509, its size is relatively important for this village and for this time.
The covered market has oak pillars and chestnut frame, the last one is known for rejecting insects and spiders. It’s a singular covered market because of its poles cut originally joists. Thiscould renew originally joists that could have been damaged or eroded by humidity. This work required the rallying of a lot of mans to thread each joist in orifice. That human work has allowed to preserve covered market and to keep it in a good condition.
At the Middle Ages, under covered market and every year, there were two big fairs. The 9thof October was the next day of Saint Denis’celebration, it was in keeping with harvest beginning. Every tuesday morning, there was the market where we sold linen hessian of Mayenne and hemp hessian harvested in Saint Denis d’Anjou, and local wine. At the time, the covered red market showed economical prosperity that had lead the village to a commercial intersection. The local “jail” in the 16th century was a storage place to merchandise and it’s only in 1791, during Revolution, that this place was used for jail to confine “Chouans” population.
As a Little City of Character, Saint Denis d’Anjou pay tribute to past eventsthathappened under covered market. So every year, numerous eventsare organized under covered market, as the Christmas market. Concerts, shows and festivals are proposed in this place year-round.
In front of church and next to the Tourist Office, we have the canon room. A few years ago, the town hall was located in this place, now it’s the exhibition room. It was built for the canon of Angers’ cathedral : St Maurice Chapter, at the end of the 15th century. Civil and criminal trials were took in. Her frontage is a gothic flamboyant style. Inside, the fireplace composed of tuffeau stone is a majestic work.
Varennes Bourreau is located six kilometers away from Saint Denis d’Anjou, at the edge of Sarthe. During the Middle Ages, Varennes-Bourreau’s commercial port has created a large activity and Saint Denis d’Anjou’s economy took advantage on it. This hamlet has a romanesque chapel, where we have frescos (12th at 15th century). To get more information, go on the following website :
Located on the way to Angers, three kilometres away from Saint Denis d’Anjou, Saint Martin de Villenglose is a former independent parish, which was reattached to Saint Denis d’Anjou by order in 1813.
The church of Saint Martin de Villenglose was set up on the 11th century, it is characterised by a romanesque nave, its size is very modest. Its chancel was restored at the end of the 15th century. In the same way, her chevet has tall gothic bay, but it is bricked up today. The sacristy is more contemporary and in the middle of it, a pinnacle overhang the sacristy.
Inside of the church, there were mural paintings of the 15th century, which are temporarily removed by Historical Monuments. Yet, some remains are visible in the nave. At the entrance of the chancel, two altarpieces are a sign of high altar. It is decorated with a painting of the 17th century. Inside of the left alcove, we have St Martin’s bishop statue, carved in the 18th century. The bishop wears a mitre, he is seated on the right of Christ, a privileged space.