Limoges – St. Michel des Lions

This Gothic style church is in the centre of Limoges and was mostly primarily constructed between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. There is though some interior work, primarily the exterior walls, which dates to the twelfth century.

From the eastern end of the church, the ball on top of the spire is rather unusual. It dates from 1810 and was added when the previous spire fell down after being hit with lightning. The military commander who was in charge of replacing it thought that it would look better with a ball, so it was duly added. It has since caused some controversy, some like it, some don’t….

The exterior is guarded by two stone lions, hence the name of the church.


These aren’t perhaps the fiercest lions that I’ve ever seen. I fear that weathering has rather taken its toll over the years.

Inside the church the nave is relatively plain in terms of decoration and the columns are thin and slender. Indeed, there is a problem here…. The columns are so thin and slender that the pillars are actually bending, as is particularly visible by the ones at the rear. Although they supported the roof for many centuries, work has now taken place to ensure that they are no longer load bearing. Just in case….

A wider view of the nave.


Two photos of the interior of the church. I had a slightly limited amount of time in the church as I had visited just after mass had finished, and I got the impression that they were looking to close up. However, it’s a glorious church and there are numerous side chapels located in the aisles.