Abbaye de Tournus sur les bords de Saône © S Guenerie / DSL71
À l'intérieur de l'abbaye de Tournus © Vander Stockt Kris / DSL71

Saint-Philibert de Tournus Abbey

A masterpiece of medieval Romanesque art recognized worldwide

Saint-Philibert Abbey, with its soaring towers in red and ochre stone, dominates the little town of Tournus on the west bank of the Saône. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit it. That’s due in good part to the fact that the whole of the monastery has remained intact. This includes not just the great abbey church, but also all the adjoining monastic buildings (the cloisters plus chapter house, the refectory and the storeroom, the parlour for receiving guests, the abbot’s lodgings and more), plus the wider fortified enclosure marked by defensive towers.

Exuding power and majesty, this place proves full of interest for visitors. It is considered one of the most significant religious ensembles from the earliest period of Romanesque architecture. The interior of the abbey church has impressive dimensions, with its soaring vaults. Admire the light in the narthex and the main nave, the slender pillars and the barrel construction of the vaults.