/ / The Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe: photo, description Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe)

The Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe: photo, description Abbaye de Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe)

"Romanesque Sistine chapel" called the Abbey of Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, located in the Vienne Department. The Abbey is located in Saint-Savin, situated on the Bank Gartempe.

The frescoes, which are considered a masterpiece of Romanesque monumental painting was created in XI-XII centuries. It is a well-preserved wall paintings of the Church, the subjects were biblical scenes (the flood and the construction of Noah's ark, the creation of mankind, the finding of Moses tablets and other scenes from the old Testament), as well as Aesop's fables. The collection of frescoes of Saint-Savin is considered in France one of the largest, belonging to the Romanesque period. Murals and the Abbey itself are under the auspices of UNESCO as a world heritage site.

The name of the monastery was named after one of two brothers who died in the V century martyrdom on the banks of the river Gartempe, where they hid from persecution. The remains of the brothers Savin and Cyprian was discovered in the ninth century, and in this place, Karl the Great ordered to build the monastery. A more accurate construction date could not be established as the archives of the Abbey burned down in the years of the religious wars of the XVI century.

The Church, which can be seen now in the territory of the monastery, was built in the XI century on the donations of the Countess of Omod. Work continued almost throughout the century, and in the XIII century in the complex of the Abbey of new building thanks to funding from the count of Toulouse and part-time brother of king Louis the Saint. Dates back to the XV century the monastery bell tower.

Damage to the Abbey inflicted not only Huguenots, but thieving abbots of the monastery. In the XVI and XVII centuries negligent abbots cashing in on what was slowly dismantled monastic buildings and sold the stone. The property of the Abbey taken away until 1640, while in Saint-Savin had moved a few monks maristov of the Abbey of Noyers. Since then, the decline of the monastery was suspended, the reconstruction and construction of new buildings.

During the revolution the monks were expelled from the Abbey, its buildings adapted for residential purposes, in the courtyard of the monastery began to celebrate revolutionary holidays and the status of the Church was downgraded to a parish.

Restoration of the unique frescoes, which by the mid-nineteenth century began to crumble, was initiated by the state inspector of prosper Merimee and was carried out from 1840 to 1849. Another restoration of the Church took place in the 60-ies of the last century. Currently, the Abbey is an international centre for wall painting.