"It was a black-and-white picture of a Romanesque doorway, with flanking saints and a lively Last Judgement in the tympanum: 'Église de Podier, XII siècle'"
Romanesque Church at Cénac in the Dordogne area of southwestern France
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRomanesque Church at Cénac in the Dordogne area of southwestern France - Credit: Manfred Heyde

Romanesque is the name given to the architectural style which dominated Western European architecture between the 9th century and the 12th century, when it was superseded by the Gothic  style. It has its roots in the architecture of the Byzantine Empire, and is  characterised by rounded arches, sturdy walls, small windows, and fairly simple ornamentation. In England it is generally known as Norman architecture.

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The Last Judgement is referred to in all four gospels of the Christian Bible, particularly in the Gospel of Matthew. It is sometimes known as the Day of Judgement and, according to the gospels, will occur after Armageddon, the final battle between good and evil. On that day, God will assign all human beings to either heaven or hell, on the basis of the way they have lived their earthly lives.


Tympanum the Norman church of St. Nicholas at Barfrestone, Kent, England
Creative Commons AttributionTympanum of the Norman church of St. Nicholas in Barfrestone, Kent, England - Credit: Renaud Camus

 Tympanum is an architectural term for the semi-circular or triangular area above an entrance, bounded by an arch above and a lintel below.

Podier does not appear on Google maps of France. However, there is a reference to a church at Podier on the Internet where it is stated that 'il y a à Podier une double église: celle de Saint-Julien et celle dite de Saint-Victor et Saint-Pierre . . .' ('At Podier, there is a double church, that of Saint Julien, and those of Saint Victor and Saint Pierre').  On p.328 of The Line of Beauty, there is another reference to the church at Podier, when it is visited by the Fedden family and their guests whilst on holiday in France.