Romanesque masterpiece of the Tournugeois

One of France's most important monastic towns stands within strong walls on the banks of the Saône, between the Bresse plain and Mâconnais hills. Built at the turn of the first Millennium, the abbey of Saint Philibert survived the hard centuries of feudalism and the Wars of Religion. Today it is a veritable model of early Romanesque art at the heart of a pleasant town with good places to eat.

Benedictine monastery

In the 2nd century, Saint Valérien converted the people of Tournus to Christianity before dying a martyr. An abbey was founded near his grave.

Abbaye de Tournus. Seven hundred years later, in 875, monks from the Vendée, fleeing the Norman invasions, settled at Tournus. They had brought with them the relics of Saint Philibert, revered founder of the abbeys of Jumièges and Noirmoutier.

Hungarian invasions jeopardized the abbey's growing prosperity but it survived the violent feudal era before being ransacked by Huguenots in the 16th century.

A thousand years of spirituality

The church of Saint Philibert is noted for its sober architecture and lack of ornamentation. The broad, strong pillars of the narthex and nave contrast sharply with the slender columns in the crypt.

Village de Tournus. The church is not the only monastic gem in Tournus: the cloisters, refectory, storeroom and chapter house form a harmonious whole. In the 17th century the 33 metre long refectory was used for a Jeu de Paume (early indoor real-tennis court!

The abbey is still a lively place, housing the CIER (Centre International d'Etudes Romanes). Throughout the summer there are classical music concerts, art exhibitions, etc....

Jewel of the Tournugeois

The abbey of Saint Philibert is the centrepiece of the "Entre Cluny et Tournus" region. Classified as an area of artistic and historical interest, it appeals to the emotions as much as to the taste buds.

Whether you arrive in Tournus by bike along the Voie Bleue or by cabin boat on the river Saône, take time out to visit the Michel Grezaud cycle museum with collections that are unique in France or the Fine Art museum in the Town Hall before enjoying a meal at the Michelin starred Greuze or Les Terrasses restaurants, both of which make the very most of local Tournugeois produce!

Labels :

  • Pays d'Art et d'Histoire - Entre Cluny et Tournus
Millénaire de Consécration de l'Abbaye Saint-Philibert
71700 - TOURNUS -
01/01/2019 - 31/12/2019
03 85 27 00 20
Office de Tourisme Mâconnais-Tournugeois
2 Place de l'Abbaye - 71700 - TOURNUS -
03 85 27 00 20
Informations pratiques
  • La visite de l'abbaye Saint-Philibert est libre. Les informations sur les visites guidées sont disponibles auprès de l'Office de Tourisme de Tournus.

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