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QR La Sauvetat 4

Saint-Jean Gate

This imposing complex, remarkable for its architecture and reminiscent of a gatehouse in a medieval abbey, was the entry point to the second enclosure. Its complex construction demonstrates great skill and could date as far back as the 14th century. The carriage gate is surmounted by a pointed arch flanked by a round arch. To the left, the pedestrian gate, now walled in, is set into a corner of the wall. Above, two adjoining arches span the two sections of wall and support a conical vault. This system aligns the wall with that of the main doorway and supports the construction of the room above. All the arches are cushioned by bases decorated with plant motifs or a hand.
The small, corbelled aedicule above the main door is a medieval fortification called a bretèche, the purpose of which is to enable defenders to protect the entrance by throwing or shooting objects through a series of arrowslits. The low wall rests on an arch with tympanum decorated with the cross of the Order of the Hospitallers. Between the two doors, the three-lobed niche in the wall houses a modern image of Saint Verny, protector of the winegrowers of Auvergne.

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