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Photographer's Note

This small roman church is remarkable by its dimensions, its layout and the care brought to its construction, especially to the exterior work of the choir. It was probably build around 1100 and served as a major church until 1737, when the famous renaissance sculptor Jean Del Cour asked in his testament for the construction of a chapel in his native village of Hamoir (which progressively took over as the parrochial church)

The Saint Peters church of Xhignesse was classified as monument in 1934 and is presently on the exceptional property holdings list of the Walloon Region.


From the leaflet available in the church :
The church of Xhignesse was probably founded between 687 and 714 by Plectrude, wide of Pépin de Herstal.
Originally, Xhignesse seems to have been a monastic cell of undertermined importance attached to the Stavelot-Malmedy abbey (Saint Anglin, one of the first abbeys of Stavelor could well have been buried here).
The building is composed of a west tower, three navec consisting of three spans, a high transept and an apse choir flanked by lateral chapels.
The exceptional exterior ornamentation of the choir consists in its inferior portion of seven high blind arcades resting on impost crowned pillars. In the upper part, the choir is carved with nine previously coated half domed recesses which relieve the apse wall, constituting a unique and remarkable example. It is the first appearance of this type of ornamentation which will lead to the rhenan gallery.
In the cemetery, beautifully sculptured crosses of the XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries can be admired.

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Additional Photos by Eric PIRARD (cyrrhus) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 441 W: 28 N: 619] (2878)
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