Photographer's Note

July 19th, 2010
Saint-Savin 860246 86310
Vienne Poitou-Charentes
46.566 0.865 90 m

Benedictine abbey and church, St-Savin

One view.
Other view.

Romanesque abbey church and abbey of Saint-Savin of the 11th century, described as Romanesque Sixtine by Andr Malraux 1901-1976, Minister for the Cultural Affairs from 1959 to 1969.
The church is built, on the GARTEMPE river bank, on a outline drawing of cross Latin and turned towards the east, as was the rule.
Its dimensions are imposing: 76 meters of overall length, 77 meters height for the arrow and 31 meters length for the transept.

Prosper Mrime 1803-1870, General inspector of the Historic buildings as from 1834, made classify the church in 1840. Then a long succession of restorations until the current time started.
It shelters 460 m of romanesques frescos of 11th and 12th centuries, very complete, in good state of conservation, and single in Europe.
It is classified with the world heritage of UNESCO since 1983.

It was founded at the request of Charlemagne, 742/748-814, Emperor of Occident, at the beginning of the 9th century.
It is Badillus, clerk at the court of Charlemagne, which founded the abbey church, on the spot of the martyrs of two brothers, Savin and Cyprien come from Macedonia, Christians and persecuted.
Saint Benot d'Aniane, 750-821, founder in 782 of an important monastery in Aniane and reformer of the rule bndictine, friend of Guilhem founder in 804 of the Gellone abbey, made there observe the rule of Saint-Benot and made there install a score of monks.
The abbey knew prosperity to the One hundred Year old War between English and French and was one of the most influential abbeys of France.
It was devastated during the wars of religion in 1562 and 1568, then passed to the laic hands of abbots racketeers, who made dismantled conventual buildings.
Monks of the congregation of Saint-Maur come from the Nouaill abbey, restaurrent the abbey one and rebuilt conventual buildings of 1640 to 1692.
After one century of revival, the French revolution reallocated the conventual buildings with civil uses, the abbey church became parish church.

Near the monument, a gothic bridge of 12th and 13th centuries crosses GARTEMPE.

The valley of GARTEMPE concentrates from Montmorillon to Saint-Savin, in Vienna, several romanesque churches decorated with frescos of the 14th century, and is called for that, the Frescos Valley.

_The GARTEMPE is a river of Poitou and of the Limousin, which takes its source close to the village of Ptillat, the commune of Peyrabout in the department of Creuse, and is thrown in the Creuse river close of "la Roche-Posay" in the department of Vienne, after a way of almost 200 kilometers. It crosses remarkable canyons in granitic landscapes, downstream from "Les Portes de l'Enfer", "The Doors of the Hell to Lathus in Vienne.

The Saint-Savin abbey.

SAINT-SAVIN is a french commune, located in the department of Vienne of the Poitou-Charentes area, populated of 1009 Saint-Savinois, divided on 19 km, that is to say 54 hab./km.

My images of Saint-Savin.
My images of the Gartempe valley.

Copyright All rights reserved. The use or the reproduction, on any media, for profit or not profit, of my photographs, including my photographs published in workshop, the notes or the texts, is prohibited without my written authorization. Joel Berthonneau.

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