The impressive St-Gilles Church with its Romanesque priory are situated in the green setting of the village of Chamalières-sur-Loire, at the heart of the untamed Loire gorges.
You can follow a guided visit using QR-codes all through this superb priory church. It is dedicated to Saint Gilles. The priory church is a fine example of Romanesque art in Auvergne, characterised by its grace and simplicity, and including a number of Arab influences. The old Benedictine monastery, which was founded in about 943, was a famous pilgrimage site due to the relics of Saint Gilles and the Holy Nail of Charlemagne. It forms a harmonious architectural structure standing on the banks of the River Loire. Don’t miss the remains of the 12th century cloister, the original polychrome door, an impressive Romanesque font (12th century), the fragments of the tomb of St Etienne of Chalencon (13th century), the mural of the Virgin and Child and the mural of the Jesus as Teacher (12th century), a young monk seen from the back grasping a barrel (in the transept), 30 echeas (sounding vases) in the choir vault, the apse, which is wider than the nave and the side aisles combined, with four apse chapels.
- Religious heritage
Free of charge.
All year round, daily between 10 AM and 6 PM.