On the way back from our city break in Angoulême today we visited the Abbey Church of Saint Savin with its stunning frescoes and painted pillars. It was rebuilt in the 11th century and restored numerous times. It has been on the Unesco World Heritage list since 1983. Below are somoe of the frescoes in the apse and the church seen from behind. We will be back to explore the area further on our bikes as soon as we can.

En revenant de notre petit séjour à Angoulême aujourd’hui nous avons visité l’abbatiale de Saint Savin avec ses merveilleuses peintures murales et piliers peints. Reconstruite au XIème, l’église a été restauré plusieurs fois. Elle est inscrite sur la liste du Patrimoine Mondiale de l’UNESCO depuis 1983. Ci-dessous quelques peintures dans l’abside et l’arrière de l’église. Nous avons l’intention de retourner dans la Vallée des Fresques avec nos vélos dès que possible.


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11 comments on “Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

    1. avril Post author

      I found them absolutely stunning. Fortunately, there was enough space to take decent photos (and no one around!).

  1. Lesley

    Would the colours of the interior have been vivid and bright when first the church was built? We look at our UK interiors that are muted now and think of them as suitably religious. Those pillars do look fabulous.

    1. avril Post author

      I gather the colours correspond to the originals. They are made with natural pignments. It’s amazing to think that they had such “modern” patterns. Some of them look like Australian aboriginal paintings.

  2. Susan Walter

    It’s fab isn’t it?. Cycling along the river to the other painted churches and the Merovingien graveyard should be possible I think.

    1. avril Post author

      We also visited Antigny which was open. Unfortunately Montmorillon was closed (it looked like it was partly collapsed). I don’t know about the Merovingien graveyard. I’ll look that up. I see from your blog that you have visited all these places.

      1. Susan Walter

        We’ve never seen the interesting painted bits of Montmorillon. They only do guided tours at 3pm or something. The Merovingien graveyard at Civaux is gobsmackingly amazing, and enhanced by the bizarre surroundings (nuclear power station, crocodile zoo, etc). Speaking of Merovingiens we’ve just got back from Paris, where amongst other things we went to the Merovingien exhibition at the Cluny.

  3. Suz

    A fascinating part of France! I also love the church pillars.

    1. avril Post author

      We hadn’t realised how rich the area is!

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