Tournus_001aIt is one of the largest Romance monuments of France. It was built mainly in XIème century. It is made up of a whole of sanctuaries distributed on three levels: the crypt, the large church on one level, nave and chorus, the entered before-nave forming, and a higher church. Adjacent with the church on its southern side, the principal conventual buildings, storeroom, refectory, chapter house remain laid out around the cloister.


Tournus_135aThe frontage is decorated of a set of bands lombardes. The solid mass is composed of two principal levels. The first, rather high, sees the alternation of sets of two bands with four hanging arcs with bands with seven arcs. The curved gate, surmounted of a triangular pediment, incrit in these bands.
On the second floor, one finds bands with three hanging arcs, stopped by a very broad band whose spread out arcs answer the pediment of the gate. Crenels fill space between the tower and the starter of southern turn, bored geminated bays.

Tournus_139aThe northern tower is detached from the solid mass by three levels. With the first small geminated bays are bored falling down on posts. Above a plank of blind blind arcades, one finds curved bay levels furnished with louvers: on the first floor, they are four (geminated), resting on fine columns.
At the higher level they are three, the broader, resting on posts and two statues column, Valérien representative and Philibert.    
One finds two other statues with the south-western and north-eastern angles. The other angles are decorated columns with geometrical reasons.


The before-nave or narthex

Tournus_030aIt is dark and massive with enormous built round piles.  The narthex comprises three voutées central spans of edges and broadsides collateral capped cradles perpendicular to the central vessel.


Tournus_037aIts cylindrical pillars are particularly massive. Vestiges of murals of XIIème and XIVème centuries.


The nave

Tournus_040aThe dash of the round piles, the height of the vaults, the light, the color with dominant sown pink of white, the balance and the power of the architectural masses as many constitute with each visit subjects of admiration for the visitor.

Tournus_042aThe series of the five transverse cradles which cover the spans of the central part constitutes one of the originalities more striking of Tournus.


Tournus_122aThis daring architectural solution offers a double advantage: it defers the pushes on the solid masses of the apse and the before-nave what made it possible to discharge the side walls and to open in those the ten broad high windows which flood light the large vessel.


Tournus_124aThis astonishing architectural success did not have however a continuation of the fact certainly of its very elaborate technique and its high price. To also notice: some murals as well as a very beautiful Our-Lady-the-Brown statue-reliquary installed in the southern side. One will admire the majestic organ case of the XVIIème century of Renaissance style, classified Historic building.

The transept crossing 

Tournus_097aIt is arched of an octagonal cupola on horns. These last are supported by groups of six posts between which bays are intercalated.

Tournus_102aThe pillars of crossing are decorated historiés capitals.  Each arm, covered by a cradle, opens on a absidiole. Collateral north is lit by a large Gothic bay.

Chorus and the déambulatoire 

Tournus_093bThe chorus was restored in XIIème century. Elegance and richness of decoration and the capitals: fantastic foliages, characters, historiées scenes. The reliquary placed at the center shelters the relics of Philibert Saint.

Tournus_086aThe déambulatoire opens on 5 radiating chapels of which the power station dedicated to Saint Philibert. Together exceptional of mosaics of XIIème century discovered at the time of the last countryside of restoration, representative of the signs of the zodiac and the human activities related to the seasons.