The buildings in the village of Xhignesse are concentrated around a Romanesque church, dedicated to St Peter. This church is located on a small mound, surrounded by a cemetery with numerous graves from the 17th and 18th centuries. An initial monastic building from the beginning of the 8th century is thought to have preceded the current church, built at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries. A more modest church, the footings of which were discovered nearby at the beginning of the 1970s, would have fulfilled its duty as a parish church at the time.
St Peter's church is made up of a central nave and side aisles, a transept and rectangular chancel ending in an apse and flanked by annexes. A west tower, fairly low, was added in the 12th century. The bonded limestone and sandstone block walls, which are quite irregular, are only decorated with arcatures and niches in the chancel. This composition, which is one of the oldest examples of this type of décor, is reflected, in simplified form, in the annexes of the chancel. Quite extensive alteration and restoration work carried out until the 20th century has obscured any clues that would otherwise enable the details of a building whose main features have nonetheless been retained, to be properly understood: transept equal in length to the nave, flat ceiling, coated and painted interior. The furnishings include funeral slabs from the 16th to 18th centuries, 16th-century baptismal fonts and a polychromatic pulpit in oak from the second half of the 17th century.
Exceptional heritage site of Wallonia