The inhabitants of Saint-Gaudens will tell you: if you only see one monument during your time here, it should be the Saint-Pierre church! Renowned as one of the most beautiful churches along the Way of Saint James, it is one of the most recognisable symbols of Saint-Gaudens.
Discover a Romanesque church on the Way of Saint James
At the heart of the old town, this building is impressive for its dimensions and impressive bell wall. History and architectural buffs, take notice: the collegiate church, dedicated to Saint Pierre and Saint Gaudens, is a true masterpiece of Romanesque art, built between the 11th and 12th centuries.
Your immersion in Romanesque architecture begins as soon as you arrive in front of this Historical Building, listed as such since 1841. Tour the church and take time to examine all the details that contribute to the charm and renown of the Saint-Pierre church. Before stepping inside, look up to admire the superb chrisma of the tympanum, just above the northern entrance of the building.
A trip through time at the Saint-Pierre collegiate church
Once you’re inside the collegial church, you’ll necessarily notice the understatement of the layout, typical of Romanesque architecture; but the Saint-Pierre church reserves many a surprise! You’ll discover the capitular hall, asserting a Gothic style; and the cloister, an extension of the original building that was built in the 13th century. Stroll along under the archways and savour the exquisite tranquillity of the setting. The ideal place to admire the capitals, mouldings and columns that were reconstituted in 1989 following the original designs.
Admire the treasures of the Saint-Pierre collegiate church
Suffice it to say that the Saint-Pierre church of Saint-Gaudens has a great deal of allure! The bell wall is particularly impressive, at 45 metres / 148 ft high; it features no fewer than 36 bells. The largest among them, nicknamed “La Gaudense,” weighs 1,130 kg / 2,491 lbs. The bells of the collegial church are an integral part of village life, setting the pace for the inhabitants’ days!
Inside the church, architecture aficionados are in for a breathtaking treat in the form of incredible Aubusson tapestries, priceless treasures that bring beauty to the Saint-Pierre collegial church and pride to all the inhabitants of Saint-Gaudens. They were woven at the famous Aubusson manufacture in the 18th century, and have been kept in a remarkable condition.
Another great discovery that awaits is the organ cabinet, a listed Historical Monument since 1971. It will definitely catch your eye when you enter the church! This magnificent piece of furniture, in the Louis XIV style, takes on a whole other dimension when it is played for a classical music concert or religious service. Don’t miss it!
Our top picks at the Saint-Pierre collegial church
- This is the largest Romanesque church in all of the Comminges (and in our opinion the most beautiful)!
- The pretty cloister is a great place to linger and admire the surrounding architecture.
- The kids’ discovery circuit, organised by the Saint-Gaudens tourist office, offers young visitors a fun way to explore the Saint-Pierre collegial church!
Office de Tourisme – 2, rue Thiers 31800 Saint Gaudens
Tél : 05 61 94 77 61
Mail : firstname.lastname@example.org