Visit Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe (Poitou-Charentes, France)
The village of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is about 50km east of Poitiers, and above all visited for the Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe.
Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe
The finest example of roman style religious architecture in Poitou-Charentes, the abbey-church was built during the 11th century and towers imposingly over the little village.
In addition to the painted vault, the carvings, the nave and the 14th century spire are also some of the finest examples to be found and are very representative of the church architecture in 11th century Poitou-Charentes.
Not all parts of the abbey complex are so ancient - the associated abbey buildings were very damaged in the Wars of Religion and reconstructed in the 17th century in the classical style of architecture, while the church spire was added in the 15th century.
The round tower (on the logis), of medieval appearance, was added in the 19th century as a device for supplying water to the rooms of the buildings.
Inside the church, you will first be struck by the large size of the church (it is more than 40 metres long) and the sweeping semi-circle of columns around the choir lit by the windows that surround it, and the ornately carved capital stones, mostly representing plants and animals.
Your eyes will soon be attracted to the large number of murals that also date from the 11th-12 centuries and cover several hundred square metres of the interior surface.
The murals are extremely well preserved (they were restored in the 19th century) and depict numerous biblical stories from the Old Testament, mostly from the books of Genesis and Exodus such as the creation of Eve, the story of Cain and Abel, and the story of Noah and the Arc, the building of the Tower of Babel and the crossing of the Red Sea.
The abbey is listed as a UNESCO world Heritage sites.
The town itself is on the scenic banks of the Gartempe river, which is crossed here by a 13th century stone bridge (and a second bridge added in the 19th century).
If you want to see more murals in the region, the tourist office can provide a suggested route that will pass by 12 other sites in the same valley as Gartempe. Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe abbey is on a route designated the 'Valley of Frescoes' between Saint-Savin and Saulgé which follows the Gartempe River and includes several important frescoed buildings (such as those at Antigny, Montmorillon and Saint-Germain).
Photos taken within 10 km
Tourist classifications for Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe
Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is classified as a
Address: Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, Vienne, Poitou-Charentes || GPS: latitude 46.448, longitude 1.2481
Map of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe & places nearby
Highlights close by
See lots more places to visit nearby and a more detailed map at places near Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe.
See Poitou-Charentes and Vienne (the region and department for Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe) for more travel ideas...
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, France
- Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe Abbey - heritage site
- Saint-Benoit-du-Sault - most beautiful village (11km)
- Eguzon-Chantome - village d'etape (26km)
- Etangs de la Brenne - site of natural beauty (26km)
- Brenne - regional natural parc (26km)
- Montmorillon - town of art and history (29km)
- Eglise de Notre-Dame (Montmorillon) - religious monument (29km)
- Jardin-arboretum de La Sédelle - remarkable garden (29km)
- La Souterraine - village d'etape (30km)
- Abbaye de Saint Savin sur Gartempe (Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe) - religious monument (32km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe (Francais)