Abbey church of Evaux les Bains

Immerse yourself in the wonder that is Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul abbey church through unique aerial views and historical anecdotes. From its Romanesque origins to its contemporary tales, this building is packed full of history and is ready to reveal all its secrets!


The Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul abbey church of Evaux-les-Bains was built around the 11th century on the site of what was likely an old church that worshipped the hermit Saint Marien. The only remnant of a monastery of the Canons Regular of Saint-Augustin, it features a belfry with a shape unique in Limousin.

Its first three square levels, as well as the fourth circular level remain from the original construction and are in Romanesque style. The last octagonal level was built later in the 13th century in Gothic style. The walls and pillars of the first floor feature round arched bays that form arcades in front of the entrance to the nave. The exterior openings on the second level follow the same pattern. Inside the third level, ornately carved capitals were likely taken from an older building. Twelve semi-circular arches open out the fourth level, while the eight sides of the fifth level have pointed arch lancet bays, typical of the Gothic style.

This belfry is topped by a spire covered with chestnut shingles, as is the turret staircase within the belfry. The turret was added in the 15th century and allowed people to take refuge on the first floor thanks to its spiral staircase.

Also in the 15th century, following the damage inflicted by the Hundred Years' War, other works added various Gothic elements, in particular the pointed arches and ribbed vaults of the aisles.

In the 17th century, following the collapse of a part of the building, the Génovéfains of the Congregation of France, who had recently moved into the monastery, decided to expand the church to make it into a fully-fledged abbey church. The transept was removed and the altar was enlarged, giving the place of worship a "basilical layout". In 1780, following the abandonment of the neighbouring church which was going to ruin and whose remains are still visible today, the Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul church became a "parish church".

After the Revolution, the monastery became a secondary school until 1816. Then, the Sisters of the Incarnate Word settled there until a fire in 1942. The ruins of the convent were levelled in the 1970s to make way for the modern-day garden.

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