Abbey of Saint-Germain d'Auxerre

Auxerre, France

The Abbey of Saint-Germain d"Auxerre was a Benedictine monastery dedicated to its founder Saint Germain of Auxerre, the bishop of Auxerre, who died in 448. The abbey reached the apex of its cultural importance during the Carolingian era; the source for its early history is an account of the Miracula Sancti Germani Episcopi Autissiodorensis ('Miracles of Saint Germain, Bishop of Auxerre') written before ca. 880. The earliest surviving architectural remains are also of the ninth century.

In 1927, beneath the 17th-century frescoed plaster walls of the crypt, were discovered ninth-century wall frescoes, the only surviving large-scale paintings of their date in France to compare to the illuminated manuscripts.

During the Revolution, several bays of the nave were demolished and the secularized abbey was used as a hospital. The former nave extended beneath the present forecourt.

In the late twentieth century the abbey"s residential and service buildings were remodeled as a museum, presenting prehistoric, Gallo-Roman and medieval finds from Auxerre. An exhibition in 1990 brought the abbey"s cultural impact into focus. The former abbey church remains in use for worship at stated times.

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Details

Founded: 9th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Art Buy (4 months ago)
Lots of interesting old relics
Frédéric Naisse (6 months ago)
Very nice museum
Jim Hilyard (2 years ago)
the cathedral is much more impressive if you only have time for one
Tyson (2 years ago)
Visiting the Abbey was a pleasant surprised. There was much more here to see then expected especially since everything except the crypt was free. Couple different things to note: 1. Everything is in French and no other languages. Even though I couldn't read any of the signage, I still really enjoyed then entire experience. I used Google Translate to translate some of the signs to get a little info on what I was looking at. 2. The museum is quite large and they have a great number of pieces that were really interesting to see. 3. The tour of the crypt of Saint Germain was $7 Euro and completely worth it even though the entire presentation from the tour guide was in French. She did take questions from me and explained some different things in English. 4. They keep some odd hours. The day we were there they opened at 10 am, then closed at noon and reopened at 2 pm. We arrived right when they opened, did the crypt tour, but had to leave after the tour because they were closing and we came back after lunch. If you are going to do the tour of the crypt and see everything there is at the Abbey you will need at least 3 hours for everything. 5. Make sure you see everything! The Abbey is not laid out that flows in a way that you can follow one path and you will see all there is. Make sure you grab a map so that you don't miss anything as there is a lot to see!
Clive Evans (2 years ago)
If you have any interest in the past, the Abbey is a must. It is worth paying for a guided tour of the crypt as long as you speak French well. The timbered houses between it and the river are also delightful.
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