Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, a Romanesque Abbey

Published on 29 May 2018 - Updated 26 October 2018

After an absence of more than twenty years, the Bibliothèque de la Société Française d’Archéologie is back with a new format, richly illustrated with B&W and colour photos. Its first publication is dedicated to a prestigious Romanesque monument, the Abbey of Saint Benoît sur Loire.

For a century and a half, the Abbey of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire was at the heart of architectural creation in Capetian France. The entrance tower built at the beginning of the 11th century was a key monument in Romanesque art in terms both of its prestigious architecture and the numbers of richly sculpted capitals. Less than a hundred years later and the relics of Saint Benoît, held in the Abbey since the 7th century, were transferred to a new apse, massive and well-lit, which was one of the most significant architectural works of its time. The nave, finally, begun at the dawn of gothic architecture, bears witness to a more austere vision of monastic architecture but retains its glorious column-figure gate built to welcome pilgrims. For visitors who enter into the church however, the dominant impression is one of harmony, above and beyond the diversity of styles. 

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  • Éliane Vergnolle


  • Bibliothèque de la Société Française d’Archéologie
  • 2018