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Melusine. She or it was a fairy or mythical being. She was responsible for the church in Clussais, and a lot more! It is worth having a look at the link I have provided, http://www.pantheon.org/areas/folklore/folktales/articles/melusine.html, She was heavily involved with the history of Poitou-Charentes and with Europe as a whole. She was often depicted as half human and half serpent/fish, a bit like a mermaid. This causes me problems because, “being a biologist ,Alan” as my Dad used to say, I question how she could have produced six sons. Constructing churches and castles and even the town of Lusignan would have been a bit of a struggle especially as she was supposed to have done each construction in one night but I suppose at a push it might be possible- she did after all have hands and arms etc but producing children…no.

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The church is known as The Church of our Lady of Clussais. I think it is very beautiful. The proportions are just right, it is not over decorated and the surroundings are very plesant. It has two small towers used for pigeons, called colombiers in the grounds. It is thought that the original church was built in the 10th century but that building has gone. Perhaps it was poorly constructed if it was knocked up in just one night by a half fish half human! The present building dates from between the 12th and 13th centuries. It has the Romanesque arched doorways. Unfortunately the door was locked when I visited but I have seen one photo of it from the inside and it seems it would be worth going inside if you can.

Also worth a look in Clussais is the village hall which was painted with 3D paintings only very recently in 2011 and is the subject of another post on this blog. The village has its own web site which is also worth a look.

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