Historic site and monument

Église Saint-Étienne

© Eglise et la lanterne des morts

Église Saint-Étienne is a very old building dating back to the 10th century. Since then it has been revamped several times.

At the heart of the village fort, Église Saint-Étienne, mentioned for the first time in an 11th century charter, was a collegiate church served by a chapter of canons (ecclesiastical dignitaries). The oldest parts of the edifice date back to the 10th century. Its dedication to Saint Étienne is a characteristic of the first parishes.

Its irregular layout, altered over the centuries, is based on the model of the hall church, with nave and collateral chapel vaults at the same level. This layout is inspired by the models of Limousin or Poitou, in connection with the Aquitaine region, known from the second half of the 12th century. The long, 4-bay nave comprises a collateral chapel to the south and an aisle and chapels to the north. It ends in a flat apse. The church retains its Roman bays, friezes of cylindrical sculptures and buttresses made from a mix of arkose and andesite. These elements are the remains of a Roman edifice from the second half of the 12th century. This sanctuary was entirely rebuilt in the 1200s. The church capitals could then date back to 1200-1220. Elements of the former cloisters are visible in the passage along the sacristy. It was all restored in 1860.

In 1867 a neo-Gothic bell-tower-porch made from Volvic stone replaced the one destroyed during the Revolution. On the finial of the upper arch of the door are the Madonna and Child in iron, from 1860. Inside, stalls and statues (Our Lady of Sorrows, and statue of Saint Jacques), paintings and a high altar made from polychrome marble are on show.

Close to the church is a building known as “lanterne des morts” (lantern of the dead) from the 12th century, classified as a historic monument since 1926 and located at the edge of the first cemetery, the only example in the country.

Opening dates and times

All year round, daily.

Services and equipment

Single visit : Unguided individual tours available permanently
Equipment : Parking nearby


  • Free access.