Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Abbey Church of Saint-Savin sur Gartempe
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe.
Type Cultural
Criteria i, iii
Reference 230
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1983 (7th Session)

The Abbey Church of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe is located in Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, in Poitou, France.


The Romanesque church was begun in the mid-11th century and contains many beautiful 11th- and 12th-century murals which are still in a remarkable state of preservation. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

The cruciform church carries a square tower over its crossing. The transept was built first, then the choir with its ambulatory with five radial chapels in the polygonal apse. In the next building campaign, three bays of the nave were added, the bell tower and its porch, and finally the last six bays of the nave. The bell tower is finished by a fine stone spire more than 80 meters high, added in the 14th century (and restored in the 19th century).

The barrel vaulted nave is supported on magnificently-scaled column with foliate capitals.

Below the church is the Crypt of the legendary martyr brothers St Savin and St Cyprian, also frescoed with the lives of these two saints.


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Coordinates: 46°33′51″N 0°51′58″E / 46.56417°N 0.86611°E / 46.56417; 0.86611