"Saint Austremoine, one of the most famous. . . ." Auvergne Things to Do Tip by kokoryko

Auvergne Things to Do: 25 reviews and 111 photos

  Apse, (with the small "absidioles" (mini-apses))
by kokoryko
  • Apse, (with the small "absidioles" (mini-apses)) - Auvergne
      Apse, (with the small "absidioles" (mini-apses))
    by kokoryko
  • Main entrance, clocktower (compare with Brioude!) - Auvergne
      Main entrance, clocktower (compare with Brioude!)
    by kokoryko
  • Hexagonal tower above the choir - Auvergne
      Hexagonal tower above the choir
    by kokoryko
  • Perspective, colours - Auvergne
      Perspective, colours
    by kokoryko
  • Who are these two?  ha? - Auvergne
      Who are these two? ha?
    by kokoryko

Yes, one of the most famous roman churches of Auvergne, but also of France, and even more. . . .
First, the name, churches have Christian names, some are out of fashion, but this one. . . do you know personally somebody called Austremoine? Austremoine was the firsqt bishop of Clermont Ferrand and was the evangelist of Auvergne (Like st Patrick of Ireland, but he is less known).
St Austremoine Basilica, in Issoire is an impressive building when you arrive from the old city. It is a typical roman architecture building, and, as usual in Auvergne, different rocks have been used to build it and to make coloured patterns. It has been built in the 12th century, but few has been left n archives about its construction: who decided to build, who were the architects,. . . what was the original religious order? . . . .
Picture one shows a general view of the apse, on the eastern side: cheviot, with apse niches on each side, and the hexagonal tower above the transept.
The main entrance is on the western side (Picture2), looks quite austere, compared to the apse and what we will see inside; just sober arches, high flat walls and a square bell tower.
The hexagonal tower (like in Brioude, or Lavaudieu for instance) is a very common architectural element in Roman churches of Auvergne; opportunity to match colour patterns and shapes (Picture3), and I like so much the perspectives generated by the different levels and planes of the buildings (Picture4).
And who are these two persons on picture5? Answer in a next “tip”.

Where: city of Issoire, thirty km south of Clermont Ferrand.

This website shows 80pictures of St Austremoine and is generally dedicated to medieval architecture: http://www.romanes.com/Issoire/

Address: Issoire, thirty km south of Clermont Ferrand
Directions: There is a Roman Art Centre in Issoire which organises city tours and very well documented visits of the St Austremoine basilica and other roman buildings in the area..
Mairie d'Issoire
B.P.2 63501 Issoire Cedex
Tél. : 04 73 89 03 54

othercontact: 04 73 89 03 54
Phone: 04 73 89 15 90
Website: http://www.jedecouvrelafrance.com/f-3462.puy-de-dome-abbatiale-saint-austremoine.html

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 8, 2007
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