Souvigny, Allier: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Souvigny in Massif Central (Auvergne region)

Visit Souvigny (Auvergne, France)

Souvigny is located in the Allier department of the Auvergne, west of Moulins and north of Vichy. A quiet town set among the wooded hills of the Auvergne, Souvigny is a little off the usual tourist trail but has a particular attraction that will interest visitors to the region.

Priory Church of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul

The Priory Church of Saint-Peter and Saint-Paul is a roman style church dating from the 11th and 15th centuries and built due to the importance of the town as a pilgrimage centre, and because it was an important centre for the Dukes of Burgundy who at that stage ruled much of the region.

It is also the church where some of the tombs of the most influential Dukes of Burgundy can be seen including Louis II and his wife Anne d'Auvergne (died 1410 and 1416 respectively).

The church itself is very interesting with several features that will attract your attention, including the main facade with its two towers, the decorative roof ornamentation, and the cloisters. The church also has some fine stone carvings, particularly the capitals (the stones at the top of the columns) and the tombs, and an 18th century organ, which is itself a listed historic monument.

Elsewhere in Souvigny

After visiting the church head for the museum next to the church, which contains some interesting artefacts from the town's past. Of particular interest in the museum is a tall stone column that depicts the signs of the zodiac, animals and monsters, and typical work activities called the 'calendrier de Souvigny' - be sure to allow time for a good look, the column is a remarkably detailed and fascinating item of medieval art.

Although rather overshadowed by the fame of the priory church, the Church of Saint-Marc in Souvigny also merits a visit.

Since 1993 the town has been a recognised 'Grand Site of the Auvergne' and has made investments and efforts to make the most of the important architectural heritage it contains. A place to discover before tourism takes over!

The surrounding region will also be of interest to church enthusiasts. There are several villages close to Souvigny with interesting examples of roman style churches, typically dating from the 11th to 13th centuries.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Allier guide and the Auvergne guide.

See also:

Map of Souvigny and places nearby

Visit near Souvigny with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Allier

Address: Souvigny, Moulins, Auvergne, 3210, France || GPS: latitude 46.535, longitude 3.1927

Plan your visit to Souvigny, Allier

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Moulins: town of art and history (11 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Georges (Bourbon-l'Archambault): religious monument (12 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Martin (Ygrande): religious monument (16 km)
  • Arboretum de Balaine: remarkable garden (18 km)
  • Chareil-Cintrat Chateau: national monument (30 km)
  • Montmarault: village d'etape (30 km)

The French version of this page is at Souvigny (Francais)