Saint Jean Church

eglise de santenayThe church’s construction started in 1220, in Santenay-le-Haut, called Narosse at that time. Originally a chapel, Saint Jean became a parish church only around 1270.

At that time, the church consisted of a nave flanked by two side-aisles, specific to the late Romanesque style, and most likely a flat chancel surmounted by a ‘comb’ bell-tower.

Around 1480s, the side-aisles’ and the chancel’s walls were demolished in order to build a new chancel and two lateral chapels, which were sanctified on October 7, 1490 (see the consecration cross in the chapel on the right side).

EGLISE DE SANTENAY ENTREE PORCHEThe church is painted in fresco. In the left side-aisle one can notice a vestige from the painting in fresco, namely, ‘Saint-Michael slaying the dragon’. This theme is represented again by the statue from the left chapel, a superb work characteristic to the Italian Renaissance style (approximately 1530).

A significant renovation campaign began by the end of the 16th century: the substitution of the roof’s beams from the nave and from the side-aisles and the building of a steeple in the middle of the false transept, which housed two new bells. These works were completed in 1603.

In 1660 Jacques Besullier sculpted the statue of Virgin Mary (the right chapel) ordered by Denis Jonchapt, a bourgeois from Santenay.

statue eglise de santenayA black strip with inserted emblems encircles the church’s perimeter. This funerary strip (‘litre’) was painted after the death of every local lord as a sign of mourning. The one that still exists commemorates the death in 1783 of Philibert Parigot, marquis of Santenay.
    After the Revolution, the church received an assembly of statues made of polychromatic wood, dating from the 15th and the 16th centuries and coming from the Saint-Martin-des-Champs chapel, destroyed during that period.

As Notre Dame du Rosaire was built in Santenay-le-Bas, the Saint-Jean Church was closed on October 27, 1892. The church became a historical monument in 1928. Due to numerous restoration works, the last of which being completed in 2004, the church regained its 15th century appearance.