© Céline Esperon
Saint-Germain Abbey 16 centuries of History

Saint‑Germain Abbey

This monument symbolizes itself sixteen centuries of the Auxerre’s history with architectural tresures.

 

This monastic complex, located outside the fortifications, was founded by Queen Clotilde in the 5th century. Necropolis of the bishops of Auxerre, the abbey was at the height of its fame in the ninth century when it housed the prestigious school of Auxerre, which was one of the centres of the Carolingian Renaissance. This monument is witness to sixteen centuries of the history of Auxerre. Although composite, it offers an architectural ensemble of great interest. Its Carolingian crypts of the 9th century, built around the tomb of Saint Germain (378 – 448) are decorated with murals remarkable for their condition and age given that they are the oldest in France.
The abbey church is Gothic in style. In its fore-nave and part of the nave, which were demolished in the nineteenth century, were found interesting remains such as sarcophagi dating from the sixth to the ninth century. The chapter room is from the 12th century, the cellar from the 14th century, the classical style cloister was rebuilt in the 17th century.
The 12th century tower of Saint Jean overlooks the buildings with its imposing spire of convex eight-sided stone.

Abbaye Saint-Germain Statue Vitraux Eglise Saint Germain Dauxerre 89 Vue globale de l'Abbaye Saint-Germain

Why Saint-Germain ?

The most illustrious bishop of Auxerre was Saint Germain (Bishop of Auxerre from 418 AD until his death in 448 AD), a man of faith who was also an able politician. In Auxerre, he started the movement to build the monasteries that surround the town and that make up a “holy wall”.
He left his mark far beyond the town, notably the famous church of Saint Germain l’Auxerrois in the 1st arrondissement of Paris close to the Louvre, bears his name. There are numerous churches named after Saint Germain l’Auxerrois all over France. In Auxerre we have a real treasure of our national heritage that bears his name: the beautiful and magnificent Saint
Germain Abbey.

Place Saint-Germain, 89000 AUXERRE

Horaires d’ouverture

Open every day in July and August. Closed on Tuesdays from September to June.
Information on the Abbey’s opening hours on 03 86 18 02 90 or by visiting www.auxerre.fr

Rates

Free visit of the site (abbey+museum) without the crypt: free.

Guided tour of the crypt and the monastic site, night guided tour of the abbey : 7,50 €.

Guided tour of the crypt alone: 7 €.

Tel. : 03 86 18 02 90

Website : www.auxerre.fr