Abbey of Saint-Savin, Saint-Savin

4.4
#11 of 107 in Things to do in Vienne
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Abbey of Saint-Savin Reviews
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4.4
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  • UNESCO World Heritage Site with unique wall frescoes and wall and column decorations imitating bricks and marble. At the time of our visit, the tourist entrance was closed so we didn't see the whole a...  more »
  • Visiting the Abbey of saint savin by chance one Sunday in December, we were very pleasantly surprised. The place is impressive. The Museum is very interesting as well as playful, we learned many things about the frescoes of the Abbey. To recommend if you are in the area :)
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  • This Abbey is really beautiful. If you are more attracted by the size and architecture and woodwork or frills, you will be served.
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Google
  • One very special place to visit
  • Amy, I need pants
  • Dubbed the "Romanesque Sistine Chapel," the Abbey of Saint-Savin is a World Heritage Site near Poitiers that is famed for its many beautiful and well-preserved 11th- and 12th-century murals. The Church of Saint-Savin dates mainly from the end of the 11th century, but some parts—including the transept with wings, square tower, and the crypts of St. Martin and of the Saints Savin and Cyprian—are even older. It has a three-aisled nave with nine bays, an apse with radiating chapels at the east end and a clocher-porche (bell-tower structure) on the west. Steps descend to the narthex and from there to the floor of the nave, whose bare round columns are topped with deeply-carved capitals in foliage motifs. But the chief attraction of this attractive Romanesque church are its murals, because of their graceful beauty, extensiveness, and relatively good state of preservation. Dating from between the end of the 11th century and the beginning of the 12th century, they illustrate an extensive array of major biblical stories. One pictorial cycle, depicting the Apocalypse, covers the ceiling of the clocher-porche and the tympanum of the doorway opening into the church. A second series illustrates events from Genesis and Exodus across the entire barrel-vaulting of the central nave: the creation of the earth and the stars; the birth of Eve; the Temptation and its consequences; the story of Cain and Abel; the flood; Noah and his descendants; Abraham; Joseph, the crossing of the Red Sea; workers constructing the Tower of Babel. The Passion of Christ is painted in the upper tribune of the porch, which incorporates scenes of the martyrs; large figures of saints are found in the choir and on the piers of the transept. Finally, the lives and martyrdoms of Saint Savin and Saint Cyprian occupy the walls of the crypts which bear their names.
  • Great place and friendly people.
  • Absolutely superb site, fully painted and overelaborate Abbey Church. The young guide who accompanied us is a well of science and it is affordable for ordinary people. A staple of the sites of Vienna. The staff is friendly and attentive.
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