Montcherand, St. Etienne. Photo/Foto: TES.

Saint-Etienne of Montcherand

The Church St. Etienne of Montcherand (canton Vaud) stands at the crossing of three roads of pilgrimage, the way to Santiago de Compostella, the Via Francigena leading from Canterbury to Rome, and the Itinerary of sites to the Abbey of Cluny.

The mural of this church dates from the 12th century. It has been partly preserved, due to the whitewashing of the walls in 1536, the time of the Calvinist Reformation, and the Bernese occupation.

The mural is the oldest example in French-speaking Switzerland of the representation of human figures in art. The Romanesque church in Donatyre shows a copy of this mural, painted in 1907. The figures represented in the lower part are the twelve apostles around Christ.

In the upper part, Christ (or the Virgin Maria ?) was represented in the mandorla surrounded by the four symbols of the evangelists. of which only the ox, a symbol of St. Luc, remains.

The names of the apostles are written in Latin. (Source: K. Queijo, L’église Saint-Etienne de Montcherand, Montcherand, 2018).