The Abbey of Saint-Savin, a jewel of Romanesque art listed by UNESCO

The unmissable, Living History

Paying activities
All year round
©Loïc LAGARDE

The Abbey of Saint-Savin and its 700 m² of unique Roman frescoes in the world, registered in Unesco World Heritage, is a exceptional architectural ensemble absolutely (re)discover. The place displays a gourmet restaurant in the heart of the Abbot's house to digital or theatrical tours. You will be won over!

The Sistine of the Middle Ages

Entering the abbey, as the savior of its frescoes, Prosper Mérimée, then inspector of historical monuments, did three centuries earlier is a unique experience. The nickname "Sistine Chapel of the French Middle Ages" given to the place is far from exaggerated.

At 17 meters high, spreads out what Romanesque art offers at its finest and most grandiose: the largest collection of wall paintings in Europe of XIrd and XIIrd centuries, real picture book painted by monks. This fresco, in a extraordinary state of conservation, retraces Old Testament where there are iconic scenes : Noah's Ark, the passage of the Red Sea or the Tower of Babel.

Guided tours with or without tablet

Since the summer of 2019, the Abbey of Saint-Savin has made the Middle Ages rhyme with new technologies. Indeed, it has been able to reinvent itself by offering a immersive experience both visually and audibly through the use of a digital tablet and headphones. Depending on each person's centers of interest and available time, the visit areas take on another dimension.

The most important elements are displayed on the tablet, as if our eyes had been able to zoom in, with details on their meaning and their restoration, sometimes embellished with anecdotes.

Three visit durations are proposed: 30 minutes, 1 hour or 1h30. The course is translated into sign language, English, Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian and Chinese. Another experience, in a cartoon, is offered to children in the footsteps of little Hugues, an apprentice artist monk. Experience tested and approved by our youngest visitors!

Want a more classic formula? Visits will also be conducted by guides if you want to ask your questions live. They will decipher for you the secrets of this extraordinary place. The visit, only in French, lasts approximately 1 hour.

Note: in addition to its church, the abbey reveals the old cells of the monks, the refectory and the garden offering an overview of the monastic life of the time.

Visit of the Abbey of Saint-Savin with a tablet©Momentum Productions Mickael PLANES

Dramatic visits, the unusual to experience with family

During the school holidays, the abbey unveils a rich program including:

  • Dramatic visits in period dress, “Journeys through time with Félix and Amélie Edoux”. A format, full of anecdotes and enthusiasm, very popular with young and old alike!

And many other events are offered throughout the year, don't forget to consult the abbey's calendar to experience other atypical moments such as cinema sessions, yoga workshops, exhibitions or festivals!

Le Cérasus: a gastronomic… and historical stopover!

Did the visit whet your appetite? A few steps from the abbey, in the former cloister of the abbey, which has now disappeared, there is now a nugget for the finest gourmets: the gourmet restaurant, the Cerasus. The young chef Thibaud Piroux, who learned his skills with star chefs including Philippe Etchebest, offers inventive cuisine built around ancestral techniques such as smoking or lactofermentation.

The setting is full of charm and on sunny days, don't forget to stroll on the terrace offering a superb view of the Gartempe.

Also observe the astonishing XNUMXth century crenellated towerrd century of the site, an element necessary for first hydraulic lift invented by its tenant at the time, Léon Edoux. This invention made it possible until 1983 to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower!

Le Cerasus the restaurant of the abbey of Saint-Savi©Thomas JELINEK – Agence Zebrelle

In short, there are many reasons to come to this unmissable place, also the starting point of the Vallée des Fresques. Not far, opt for the City of Writing and Book Trades of Montmorillon or, the Medieval City of Chauvigny and its many family activities.

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