Abbey of Saint-Savin, 2017

Ethan Map St. Savin

The Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is off the highway en route to Poitiers. The road enters the town from above and circles down into the plain of the river where the monastery sits. It was a Benedictine Abbey, so the church features fine frescoes on the walls and ceilings.

The Romanesque church reminded me of other monastic churches in the area. It was begun in the mid-11th century and contains many beautiful 11th- and 12th-century murals that reminded me of others I have seen in Italy. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

The bell tower has a soaring 14th century stone spire and is more than 262 feet high.

Below the church the crypt of the martyred brothers St Savin and St Cyprian is decorated with frescos depicting scenes from their lives. It was locked on our visit, visible only through an iron grate.

Some additional information on the church is here

The town of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe against the horizon
The bell tower is over 262 feet tall, one of the tallest towers in France.
The apse with its painted ceiling, a different take on stars…

The tomb of Odilon second Abbot

Directly overhead, a 12th century fresco depicting Noah’s ark
A forlorn keystone from a ceiling vault speaks to the former glory pre-revolution and the fate of many fine buildings across France
The former Dormer or sleeping area of the monks
The Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is a UNesco World Heritage site.

Abbaye St. Savin

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