The Saint-Laud Collegiate Church of Angers !

In my road warrior tour of the region and on our way back home, decided to stop by Angers again. This is  Angers , a wonderful city in the dept 49 of Maine et Loire and in the Pays de la Loire region of my belle France. I had this buried in another post and feel deserves a post of its own. Therefore here it is the Saint Laud Collegiate Church of Angers!

The Saint-Laud Collegiate Church is a former collegiate church located in Angers. It is less known and not on the tourist office webpage but me think is a must to see, and me more of it, First, the chapel of the collegiate church was rebuilt by Henry II Plantagenet around the middle of the 12C on the site of a tower of the Gallo-Roman enclosure of the city. The Saint-Laud Collegiate Church of the castle disappeared in 1232, but there is still a Saint-Laud church which is its heir. In July 1471, by his letters patent, King Louis XI confirmed its privileges. It housed a famous relic, the True Cross of St-Laud d’Angers, cherished by Louis XI. The Saint Laud Collegiate Church has always carried the dedication of Saint Laud. The chapter was expelled to Esvière in 1232 on the occasion of the construction of the castle. It then occupies the former church of Saint-Germain, and is therefore sometimes called Saint-Laud-en-Saint-Germain.

The Saint-Laud Collegiate Church indirectly owes its existence to the Norman invasions. The remains of Blessed Laud , bishop of Coutances in the 6C, were brought to Angers to protect them from invaders. A chapter of canons watched over them, close to the castle. In 1234, King Saint Louis wanted to enlarge his citadel. He had the canons and their relics transferred to the small parish church of Saint-Germain en Saint-Laud, to the current Cour Saint-Laud in Angers. It is nevertheless famous because it keeps shards of wood brought back from the Holy Land. These shards are said to be fragments of the true Cross of Christ. During the French revolution, the reliquary was broken, the church ruined. The place of worship of the parish will henceforth be the chapel of the Récollets, at the current location of the church. In 1869, it was destroyed to be replaced by the current church which will be consecrated in 1876. The Saint-Laud Collegiate Church is in Poitevin Romanesque style. In May 1944, (during WWII) two bombs will bruise it: twenty-eight dead, collapsed vaults, altar, furniture and organ destroyed. It will not be returned to worship until 1954.


The Countess of Quatrebarbes was the benefactress of the Saint-Laud Collegiate Church. She commissioned the first stained glass window in the church: that of Foulques V. It was made in 1876. The stained glass window of Foulques V was destroyed in a bombardment in May 1944 (during WWII). Five thousand pieces were recovered from the debris. They will be patiently reassembled at the cost of a thousand hours of work. The stained glass window returned to its place in 2008. The Foulques V stained glass window consists of three illustrations of the important stages in the life of the count. Foulques who was King of Jerusalem from 1131 to 1143 through his marriage to Mélisende, daughter of Baudoin and King of Jerusalem.

The Notre Dame du Salve or Our Lady of Salva is a statue dating, according to the sources, from the end of the 13C or the beginning of the 14C. Attached to the school of Ile-de-France, it is in white marble and was offered by the royal family at the time when Philippe IV le Bel was king of France. It remained in the small church of Saint-Germain in Saint-Laud until 1793 and was then hidden in Grand-Douzillé. It took its place in Saint-Laud Collegiate Church in 1887. It is one of the rare statues of the Virgin holding the Child Jesus where we can also see Eve biting the apple. The Virgin rests on Eve. According to the sources, the serpent is also seen there.

The Stained Glass of the True Cross has no workshop or master glassmaker signature. It is likely that it dates from the second half of the 19C, It shows the Patriarch of Jerusalem gives the cross on a cushion: Foulques V brings the True Cross to Angers, Louis XI made the Duke of Burgundy swear on the True Cross (“my dear enemy”) because, in the Middle Ages, the True Cross had the reputation of causing all those who perjured themselves to die within a year (hence the qualifier “dear”…) The episode of the French revolution. The goldsmith Vigier makes assessments for the revolutionaries. He recognizes the True Cross and hides it behind his back. He will restore it to the Clergy after the revolution !

The Parish of Saint Laud on the church :

The Angers tourist office on its religous heritage :!/?q=religious%20buildings

There you go folks, another gem of Angers and not far from me. This is one off the beaten path monument you should seek and me will come back. Hope you enjoy the post on the Saint Laud Collegiate Church as I

And remember, happy travel, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: