Basilica of Saint-Eutrope

Saintes, France

A real masterpiece of Romanesque art, Saint-Eutrope Basilica in Saintes amazes visitors with its two superimposed choirs and its crypt, one of the largest in Europe.  The Flamboyant Gothic style bell tower (built 1478-1496) rises more than 80 metres and overlooks the ancient capital of the Romanesque Saintonge region.

The church was inaugurated in 1096. The relics of Saint Eutrope, the first bishop of Saintes, were buried to crypt and the church and it was a popular pilgrimage site. It was one of the largest churches in the region until 1803 when the dilapidated nave was removed.  The current facade was built in 1831 by the architect Prévôt. Later, in 1844, the bell tower was restored by another architect named Clerget. A year later, the crypt was cleared because it had been filled several times before.


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Founded: 1081-1096
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Emily Lannon (2 years ago)
Lovely church with colorful stained glass and large paintings. Good for peaceful reflection.
Pia Klit (2 years ago)
Beautiful old historic church. Under restauration in the day of visiting, so no services. Don't cheat yourself of visiting the crypt underneath the church. It is literally a church beneath the church. The lower church for the Pilgrims who wanted to visit the tomb of Saint Eutrope. It's an eerie and somewhat surreal experience to walk around in there. A bonus on top is that it's nicely cool on hot days.
Jeffrey Smith (4 years ago)
A beautiful basilica for the first saint in Saintes, Eutrope! I liked visiting this place because it gave me a deeper appreciation for the history that has made Saintes the town it is today. It’s amazing that this structure has lasted for so long! It is a little muggy feeling but it is not unbearable. I definitely hope that this structure will continue to last forever!
v01d (5 years ago)
Very nice gothic Basilique and crypt, i recommend.
Mike Jones (6 years ago)
This Church and Crypt is CLOSED for Archaeological work.
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