Eglise St Laurence

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La Vieillevie is pretty little village with old stone and timber frame houses on the north bank of the River Lot. In the centre of the village is a massive square stone built château with two 13thC round towers and a later 16thC building behind with a wooden gallery running along the top.

Église St Lawrence is a nice little church tucked away in a corner beneath the château. It is plaster covered with a pointed witch’s hat steeple.

Entrance is at the west end through a small round topped door with a small carved figure above, presumably St Lawrence. There is a small wooden balcony at back. Massive stone pillars support round topped arches with a very narrow passageway on each side. Above is a barrel ceiling. The nave has small stained glass windows.

There is a pointed chancel arch. An old stone font with a carved band round it serves as a mass altar. The high altar has a marble base with a gilt carving of the Lamb of God on a roundel on the base and decorative gilt corners. Above is a superb painted retable. Five small statues are separated by barleycorn twist pillars. The end figures have decorative tops above them. The three middle figures have a large dome above with a small statue inside and another on the top. Behind is a big picture of the crucifixion with a carving of God the Father above. There are gilt statues of the Virgin and Child and St Foy on either side of the altar.

This was an unexpected find. La Vieillevie doesn’t get mention in the guide books or on the internet. There is nothing special to attract the tourist. It is just a charming, unspoilt French village. We liked it.

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