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STOP JUST HOLIDAYING! ESCAPE TO AUVERGNE Discover our ideas for visiting Auvergne as a couple or as a family arrow

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Issoire, Heart of Romanesque art

Issoire tourism presents its church of Saint-Austremoine, the most highly decorated in the Auvergne and a centre devoted to Romanesque art. As one of the Auvergne's major churches, this abbey church was renovated in the 19th century in keeping with the simple spirit of the Romanesque style which Issoire has successfully preserved. Climb to the top of the Clock Tower for a panoramic view of the town.

The Abbey Church of Saint-Austremoine
The Abbey Church of Saint-Austremoine

Issoire's Abbey Church

Here, we take genuine pride in sharing Romanesque art, displaying its capabilities while conveying the tranquillity, strength and wisdom with which it has become synonymous. The Abbey Church of Saint-Austremoine is an excellent example, with its simple facade, built on a wide esplanade, harmoniously proportioned and featuring a Zodiac cycle comprising 13 signs. Another feature is its interior, which is covered entirely by a decorative scheme painted in the 19th century. Long criticised as they were considered too violent, these paintings produced by Anatole Dauverge, are today recognised, protected and regularly restored. The decorations on the capitals represent the Last Supper, centaurs, griffins and shepherds, leading onto a high dome (23 m or 75 ft). These are some of the highlights of  Issoire Tourism.

 

Romanesque art in the Abbey Church
Romanesque art in the Abbey Church

Cultural sites in Issoire

Just a stone's throw away, the Pomel Centre was created on the site of a former monastery and houses the Georges Duby Romanesque Arts Centre, (Duby was a leading specialist on the Middle Ages).
All year round, you can come along and enjoy the exhibitions, international colloquiums and festivals of artistic expression organised by the centre. The Belfry (Clock Tower) has been devoted to the Renaissance period. Shows, contemporary art and music events all contribute to the town's lively cultural scene.
The historical town centre is rich in buildings dating from the 15th century including, the Clément and Bohier private residences and the Museum of the Philosopher’s Stone at the Maison de la Bascule. Issoire Tourism has much more to offer for history lovers,so make sure you fully explore this beautiful town.
And after exploring the sunny streets with their southern atmosphere and small squares, why not take a walk in the Livradois hills, as you experience the vast open spaces of the Dauphiné d’Auvergne, an area which remains well preserved, intact and dynamic.

 

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