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HistoryThe romanesque church of Saint Martin de Brux is a place of catholic worship for over eight hundred years. But, extending the term of worship to the place at which it is exercised, continuous religious pratice here exceeds the millennium: a Merovingian sarcophagus was found under the nave of the present church.
Saint Martin de Brux is one of those buildings which has
never suffered serious damage in times of war*,
not even in periods of prosperity, often
more disastrous for so-called "barbaric" or "primitive"
architectures. It was classified in the "Monument Historique"
official files in
1914. Restorations in the last two decades of the XX Century were
conducted with due respect for the archaeological interest of the site.
Brusc, Brucs, Bruz or Brux, whatever the written form , is the old Celtic war cry, which remains trough Roman, Nordman, Arabic, and English invasions, and religious, political and cultural revolutions.
The millenium had scarcely begun when, over Pictish sarcophaguses, the Lusignans raised the walls of a place of worship, which could also serve as a refuge: thick walls, few openings. The Fée Mélusine, who, according to the legend, still builds fortresses and churches in a night, with 'a lapful of stones and a gulp of water', concedes the construction of Saint Martin to human beings. They applied the last architectural technique: a lightly broken arch vault supported up on each side by two half-tunnel vaults. But they kept a classic quarter of sphere apse and a central bell tower carried on by a dome supported by four squinches.
John M. Mansfield, in his exhaustive study 'Some Dated Registrations of Gaul, Germany and Spain' favours the last reading : 1171.
For his part, a certain Pasteur Lièvre wrote, at the beginning of the XX century: 'the church does not appear to go back beyond XIII century, but it succeeded another which circa 1080 was the property of the brothers Geldoin and Vivien'. More seriously, from its creation the church was attached to the Benedictine Abbey of Nanteuil-en-Vallée (Haut-Poitou Roman, Zodiaque, 1984)
Finally, a minority of unbelievers thinks that the edifice was never built, existing only in the Jorge Luis Borges imagination, or as the Cluny Abbey, only in a virtual way. To such people we can only say 'Come and touch...'
the Hundred Years’ War, the neighbouring churches of Romagne and
Chaunay were not spared from damage - (Le
Diocèse de Poitiers, Favreau, 1988).