Major Cluniac site

Classed as one of the loveliest villages in France, this former capital of the Brionnais is the ideal destination for heritage enthusiasts. Travel through a thousand years of history, from Saint Hugues' castle, by way of Romanesque churches in the “upper town”, to today's rich setting of vineyards and fruit trees!

The mark of Saint Hugues

From the 10th to 14th centuries the Brionnais was controlled by the powerful dynasty of the Barons of Semur. Built on the highest point of the promontory, their castle is one of the oldest in Burgundy.

In the 11th century, Hugues de Semur (1024-1109) founded Cluny Abbey, whose influence was to spread throughout Christian Europe.

Henceforward linked to the Cluniac order and the Dukes of Burgundy, Semur-en-Brionnais enjoyed prosperity and security in the Middle Ages. This relative calm meant that many Romanesque churches and medieval buildings have been preserved.

Castle, churches and chapels

Take a trip through one of southern Burgundy's “Romanesque gardens”!

Saint Hugues' castle affords fine views over the vineyards and Forez mountains. Its 9th century rectangular keep is without doubt the oldest in Burgundy.

The chevet and octagonal tower of the collegiate church of Saint Hilaire (12th century) show clear Cluniac influences.

The town's Justice auditorium, 17th century salt store and fine houses are built in traditional Brionnais ochre stone.

Did you know that a lintel in the collegiate church depicts an event in the life of Saint Hilaire? He was exiled after a theological dispute between Arianist bishops and believers in the divine nature of Jesus. It shows Saint Hilaire being comforted by an angel and regaining his place among the bishops, while a devil carries off the person who condemned him.

Off to the country...

Go through the postern gate between the upper and lower towns to reach the pleasant walking route around the ramparts. It runs alongside meadows to the church of Saint-Martin-la-Vallée, well-known for its simple architecture and mur.

Labels :

  • Pays d'Art et d'Histoire - Charolais Brionnais
Office de Tourisme de Marcigny-Semur
Place des Halles - 71110 - MARCIGNY -
03 85 25 39 06
03 85 25 39 06
03 85 25 39 06
PETR du Pays Charolais-Brionnais
7, rue des Champs Seigneurs - 71600 - PARAY-LE-MONIAL -
03 85 25 96 36
Association des Châteaux de Bourgogne et de Franche-Comté
Château de Couches - Le Château - 71490 - COUCHES -
Informations pratiques
  • Tout au long de l'année, l'Office de Tourisme du canton de Marcigny / Semur-en-Brionnais complète son programme de visites avec des activités et conférences temporaires. Son dynamisme est relayé par un site régulièrement mis à jour.

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