THE SAINT SAVIN ABBEY :
The Abbey of Saint Savin is a “must-see” for anyone who wants to discover Romanesque Poitou. Added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1983 for its exceptional 12th Century mural paintings, the Abbey of Saint Savin was once called the “Romanesque Sistine Chapel” by André Malraux.
The Abbey is composed of the church, the conventual building, the Abbot’s lodge and the gardens.
The church has a spire reaching 78 meters. You will find inside a nave and an apse as well as an ambulatory and five radiant chapels. Two crypts can also be found under the choir : one is entirely dedicated to Saint Savin and Saint Cyprien whereas the second one is dedicated to Saint Marin. Unfortunately, both of the crypts are not open to public in order to preserve the paintings.
The conventual building was built in the 17th century following traditions of the Benedictine monks. On the ground floor, there are a large refectory, the chapter house and a stone stair. Taking this stair, you will arrive at ancient monk’s cells where stands now a hands-on-multimedia section. It displays a virtual exploration of the Abbey church, featuring detailed descriptions of the vaults scenes and including a fascinating big screen HD virtual tour of the crypt which is not open to the public. On the second floor, you will find an auditorium that shows a movie about the frescoes (every 30 minutes).
To enter inside the gardens, go by the Abbey entrance.
How to visit the Abbey:
Guided tour(only in French): during 45 minutes, a guide give you explanation about the Abbey and the paintings inside the church. Visit the rest of the Abbey (gardens and ancien refectory where cultural exposition are) by yourself.
Visit with a booklet: visit the church and the Abbey with a booklet available in French, English, German, Spanish and Italian.
Phone number : 00 33 5 49 48 30 00