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L'Abbaye St-Pierre, Moissac

(240+ reviews on the web)
Religious Site Tourist Spot
See Romanesque art and sculpture from the prolific 11th and 12th centuries at L'Abbaye St-Pierre. The railroad has divided the southern and northern parts of the abbey since the 19th century, but you can still tour the cloister and its chapels, the church, and the abbot's living quarters. As you explore the church, admire the "trumeau," which supports the tympanum. This outstanding example of Romanesque sculpture features a statue of the Prophet Jeremiah. The church still holds mass, as it is an active worship site and part of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela. Download the 27-minute audio guide from the website or rent one at the welcome desk. Our Moissac trip generator makes visiting L'Abbaye St-Pierre and other Moissac attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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  • We took the audio tour, which was well worth the extra 3Euros each. The abbey was/is on the pilgrimage route to Compostella.  more »
  • The church is freely available to explore, but to view the cloister you enter via the tourist office, at a cost. The audio guide was poor. Even in the rain, the doubled columned cloister has to be see...  more »
  • A citadel to faith. Yes it is a monument. Yes it is ancient.Yes it is impressive. But most importantly, it is still in use by a real faith community. Attend Mass on Sunday and you will see.  more »
  • beautiful abbey and surrounds. Calm and serene
  • The abbey and the area around the abbey are beautiful.
  • Cool.
  • Historic, beautiful, inexpensive.
  • The cloister of Moissac Abbey Church in southwest France is one of the finest galleries of Romanesque art in the world and the oldest and largest cloister with narrative capitals. Completed in 1100 AD, it contains 76 capitals plus 12 large pillar reliefs in a large cloister measuring 31 meters by 27 meters. Moissac's capitals are beautifully carved and in surprisingly good condition for their venerable age, except that virtually all the faces have sadly been smashed. Dramatically shaped like upside-down pyramids, the distinctive capitals of Moissac are carved over their entire surface, including the abacus (flat part at the top). Many of them have Latin inscriptions explaining the scene. Subjects of the sculptures include delicate foliage, animal and human figures, biblical scenes and legends of the saints, all combined in an apparently random order that forms no narrative. Of the 76 total capitals, 46 depict narrative scenes from the Bible or the lives of the saints and 11 of those illustrate the Old Testament. Interestingly, none of the sculptures depict scenes from the Passion. Below is a fully illustrated guide to the subjects of each capital and pillar in the Moissac cloister, using the modern numbering system found in the official visitor's guide and, e.g., the Blue Guide to Southwest France. The numbers correspond to the plan of the cloister at right, which is from the visitor's guide. Capital Roman numerals refer to pillar reliefs.