Caruso33 : découvrir autrement la Gironde
Vers la page d'accueil de Caruso33
Rechercher dans Caruso33

The monolith church of Saint-Emilion.

The largest roman church of the Gironde.

Tourist home of Saint Emilion

Logo ot saint-Emilion Place des Créneaux
Tél. : +(33) 5 57 55 28 28
Fax : +(33) 5 57 55 28 29
Mail :
Page Caruso : office-tourisme-st-emilion.html
Two visits are giving by the tourist home, to discover the monolith church: Saint-Emilion historical and Saint-Emilion underground.
Department : Gironde
Micro-region : Libournais
City : Saint-Emilion
Eglise monolithe st Emilion
View from the central square
Les piliers de l'église monolithe
Strengthened the pillars supporting the imposing tower
Les anges de l'église monolithe de st Emilion
Angels in the vault of the church
In the heart of the city, the monolith church reminds the religious activity of the medieval city, and intrigues by its original conception.
Indeed, what a strange idea to carve out a church whereas everywhere else in the West, during the 11th century, the roman churches were built?
From the ancient Greek mono meaning unique, and litho, stone, this monument was dug out of a limestone plateau, and the structure still forms one block. The work is due to the development of the city by the activity of pilgrimage, on the grave of the patron saint, Saint-Emilion.
In remember of the Briton hermit who is supposed to have lived in a cave during the 8th century, and in order to edify the faithful, the Benedictine monks had the ambition to realise a reliquary church big enough to receive hundreds of pilgrims. Its relics have been exposed until the 16th century. Then during attacks of Protestant troops, the city had been pillage and the relics as well.
Maybe in a financial worry, and because of the time of realisation, the monk employed local carry-workers and stone cutter ? Had they been inspired by oriental realisation in the Christian beginnings, monolithic churches of Cappadoce which it is still possible to visit nowadays? Indeed, the Byzantine influences are used for the church at a basilica type, with decorative elements of origin, in reference to the Ancient testament. Those influences brought by the crusade were frequents in other places …
To find a sponsor and a backer of a church like this, there was only the Viscount Pierre de Castillon to finance it, who was excommunicated by the bishop of Bordeaux just before his departure for the crusade. He was a powerful lord, who reigned on the local religious community and owned all the land far to Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, where a similar church was carved out. This hypothesis is nowadays seriously studied by historian.
The church is not in free access, so for discover this exceptional site, take a ticket to the tourist information for one of the following visits, and let the magic happen!
- Historical Saint-Emilion;
- Underground Saint-Emilion
Eglise monolithe
The gateway
Vue du clocher de l'église monolithe
67meters high
The church is consecrated, and sometimes received some religious ceremonies, concerts, and also sacrament ceremonies of the brotherhood of the wine of Saint Emilion, the Jurade.

Keywords : église monolithe de st emilion, église monolithe de Saint-Emilion, Patrimoine st emilion,la cité de st emilion, patrimoine libournais, église romane libournais, église romane gironde
Crédits photos :   Office de Tourisme de Saint-Emilion - Anne Lanta, Daniel Clerc, Caruso33 Tous droits réservés
Updated :  17th november 2019
Tourisme en Gironde :
Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional