Medieval and historical discoveries

La Souterraine, gateway to the Pays Sostranien, is home to architectural, historical, natural, unusual, and sometimes hidden heritage treasures…

Which will seduce you as long as you get close enough to discover them.

Throughout the summer, the Pays Sostranien Tourism Department will be able to accompany you in a thousand ways in this discovery.

The medieval site of Bridiers:

At 2km from the historic heart of the city (3km by soft link),

Bridiers is a remarkable site with its tower, its vestiges, its green theater, its medieval garden…

In early August, the site is the scene of the Fresco of Bridiers,

one of the largest historical night shows in New Aquitaine.

The Church of Our Lady of La Souterraine:

From its real name, the parish church of the Assumption of the Very Holy Virgin,

The Church of Our Lady of La Souterraine is a monument that imposes itself on the visitor as soon as he or she approaches the Sostranian city

And no matter what route is taken.

It has been classified as a historical monument since 1840.

The funeral slab of Monsgânier:

Now on display in the church,

It is believed to be the tomb of a monk killed in 1172 during a revolt by burghers refusing to pay new taxes levied by the monks of Saint-Martial to continue the construction of the church.

But the legend prefers to tell the fantastic story of the Mousse-Gagnet.

The crypt (or lower church):

Located beneath the choir and transept of Notre Dame Church,

The crypt is said to occupy the place of an ancient Gallo-Roman necropolis Christianized during the High Middle Ages.

It can be reached from the Place d’Armes or by an interior staircase leading into the south transept crossing.

The St. John’s Gate:

Named, depending on the period, the Breith, Lavaud, Notre Dame, or Prison Gate,

The St. John’s Gate was built in the 13th century.

Classified as a Historical Monument since 1920,

It is, along with the Puycharraud Gate, the guardian of the memory of the city’s fortifications.

The Puycharraud Gate:

The Puycharraud Gate (or Gateway Gate) has been listed as a Historical Monument since 1941.

The only remaining element of the enclosure enlarged in the fifteenth century,

It is now fitted out to host exhibitions and houses the English library.

The Lantern of the Dead:

Figuring among the most unusual constructions bequeathed to us by the past,

Lanterns of the dead date from around the 12th century.

Built on the outskirts of cemeteries, they are said to play a role as a lighthouse intended to guide the souls of the deceased to eternal rest.

The Savior organ:

Built in 1887 by organ builder Jean-Baptiste Ghys,

The Savior organ belongs to the generation of romantic organs.

Classified as an object under the title of Historical Monument in 1991 and completely restored between 1996 and 2010,

It now hosts, in the Chapel of the Savior, concerts by organists

The Chapel of the Savior :

Built between 1867 and 1871 in the neo-Gothic style,

The chapel depended on the convent of the congregation of the Sisters of the Savior and the Holy Virgin

Before being donated to the City of La Souterraine in 2019.

It now has a new life thanks to the Micro-Folie cultural project.

Continue your discoveries in the surrounding communes…

…around an original tour: funeral rites and customs

Don’t think that cemeteries are all alike. They are a reflection of a region. Here the medallions are made of Limoges porcelain. We can also read the evolution of funeral rites. From one site to another, discover the tribute paid to the deceased.

Middle Neolithic : Dolmen de la Pierre Folle in Saint-Priest-La-Feuille

Take a stone path, cross a stream and climb a small hillock. The dolmen is enthroned up there. Its table, 3.40 meters in diameter for 1.20 m thick, on eight pillars, one of which is missing. Is it this precarious balance that gave the dolmen its name? Take the time to read its legend.

Iron Age: Tumulus des Redoutes in Bazelat

Discover the tumulus of Redoutes reconstituted identically to the original tomb. Here about twenty individuals rested under 5 mounds. A circular granite wall of 14 meters in diameter encircles the whole.

Antiquity: Stele of Betoule in Saint-Maurice-La-Souterraine

It is at the place called Bois de la Cure, that you will find the stele of Betoule. This funerary complex was erected between the 2 nd century and the beginning of the 3 rd . The necropolis shelters five burials. Monumental chests or small urns preserve the cremated remains of the deceased, here the residual bones of cremations. A small glass urn was also found there, and even a burial in the ground in a ceramic vase, bones, two pots and a bottom of a glass bowl.

Medieval Age: Lantern of the Ports in Saint-Agnant de Versillat

A strange construction watches over the cemetery. Erected in the 13th century, the lantern was moved following the cemetery. It has lost its base in the process, but is no less imposing. A landmark for pilgrims and travelers, a protection for the dead, it was illuminated by a small oil lamp hoisted to its peak by a pulley. You will find its cousin in the cemetery of La Souterraine.