Art under your arse: carvings under the choir stalls of Notre-Dame de Nantilly, Saumur

Have you read that new book on medieval church art?  It’s called Carvings Under Choir Stalls by Seymore Butts.

LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, okay, butt seriously, the next time you’re in an old church with a wooden choir, look under the seats.  See something funny?  It’s not an appropriate space to put a holy image, so those medieval artists indulged their humor.  I’ve seen snails, monkeys and monsters under choir stalls.  The engaging Notre-Dame de Nantilly, which HOB and I visited recently in Saumur, in the Loire Valley of France, has charming choir stall carvings including numerous silly faces, a snail, a falling-down drunk in bloomers and a hunting cat!

How we got to Saumur: train from Tours.

Where we slept: ibis Styles Saumur Gare Centre.  Price: (It’s complicated–the going rate is €74 for a double, but we were transferred here at the last minute because of emergency at a different hotel, so we paid  €60) Recommended: sure, if  you can afford it.



The town drunk!

curlyq nicehair

Love the hair guys!



LOOK OUT: kitty’s got a gun!



  1. Was this at the same time as you visited the chateau?
    I know the church well as i used to live in the area…nice to see it featured.


    1. Yes, it was the same time. How lucky for you to have lived in such a lovely area!


  2. They are called misericords: not sure how that translates?! (Pity I think?) Actually that’s the name for the choir seat which is hinged and has the carving underneath.


    1. Thank you for letting me know erikleo!


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