Tournus, a distinctly southern charm

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Tournus, its Saint-Philibert Abbey

Picturesque lanes, houses with multicoloured facades, round-tiled roofs, the atmosphere here is reminiscent of southern France. A collection of medieval homes encircle Tournus' majestic Saint-Philibert Abbey, a masterpiece of early Romanesque art. Inside the edifice, light washes over the massive pink columns; the beauty of the image is stunning. The abbey houses a crypt, the Saint-Michel Chapel and a series of medieval mosaics of exceptional quality. Connected to the church by the parlour, the abbatial buildings comprise a cloister, chapter room, refectory and cellar.

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A tall slender silhouette surrounded by ramparts overlooking Tournus, the Saint-Philibert Abbey is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture from the 11th and 12th centuries. Imposing and exacting, the structure still exhibits influences of the Lombard masons who participated in its construction. The singular design of its nave, covered by arches with ribbed vaults, projects an extraordinary quality of light onto the edifice.

 

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Among the first discoveries of the 21st century

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Mosaïque médiévale à Tournus

A medieval mosaic

In the middle of the abbey, spotlight on a rare composition of medieval mosaics illustrating the zodiac and labours of the months. Five medallions from this ancient pavement are now visible in the ambulatory.

They particularly liked:

  • visiting the abbey with an audio-guide
  • having lunch at one of Tournus' four award-winning restaurants
  • following "Gerlannus' path" in meandering the city's medieval lanes
  • admiring the incredible collection on display at the Bicycle Museum
  • reaching Mâcon via the Blueway, a 30-km bike ride with the Saône River as a travel companion
  • renting a pleasure craft at the Tournus marina
  • visiting the Greuze Museum and Historic Hospital.

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www.tournugeois.fr

 

 

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Tournus Abbaye Saint-Philibert

A medieval mosaic

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