Saint-Genest-sur-Roselle

Saint-Genest-sur-Roselle, some 405 metres above sea-level, covers 1992 hectares. The life of our martyred patron saint, St Genest, is celebrated on 25th August: his remains, however, are preserved in the famous Nécropole des Alyscamps in Arles.

Commune de Saint Genest Sur Roselle

Over the past few years there’s been a steady increase in the population of Saint Genest; it now stands at five-hundred and four.

Since it was founded, the commune has had many different names, such as: Sancto Genesio, Saint Genès-près-Pierre-Buffière (1246), Saint Genez (1284), and Sancti Genesii. In the 16th century it was called Saint Genès. In 1794, during the Revolution, the mayor renamed it ‘Sans Préjugé:   this was not approved of by the district authorities, who then imposed that of Genest-sur-Roselle.

Our commune is the birthplace - in the hamlet of Sévennes, of Bernard of Savène. This curé of Saint Hilaire-Bonneval, became a monk at L’Artige in 1210, and was made the Bishop of Limoges in 1219. A statue of him is in a little niche above the main doorway to the church.

One of eighteen fortified churches built in the Limousin, ours dates from the XIIth century. With its Limousin-Roman style, it is our principal architectural and religious inheritance. 

Its square tower makes it a truly fortified strong-point. You can still see, on the west and north sides, murder-holes and cannon loops.

Inside the church, under a semi-circular vault, is an unusual altar. It has a table-top of wood, resting on the twisted roots of a hornbeam tree.  The altar was dedicated in2001, as was the new roof on the bell tower.  In the church doorway there is a benediction basin atop an unusual, bulbous growth taken from a chestnut tree.  Classified as an historic monument, the splendid polychrome pulpit in wood, dates from the XVIIIth century. Statues: of the Virgin, carved in wood in the XVIth century, and of two of the evangelists; complete our modest few treasures. How the changes have been rung: the bell, cast and installed in 1879, has not, since 1955, been tolled by a bell-rope - but by an electric motor!