Notre Dame de Beaune

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2017

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

In the centre of Beaune and still surrounded by a network of circular roads, this isn’t the easiest of places to find. It dates back to the C12th and is one of the largest Romanesque buildings in Burgundy.

It was originally a collegiate church and built on the site of an earlier church, marking the prosperity of Beaune at the time. It became an important place of pilgrimage containing the relics of St Flocel and St Herné. The church suffered a fire in the C13th and was restored in the latest Gothic style. An open porch was added at the west end, along with flying buttresses to the nave and side chapels. The dome and lantern were added in the C16th. It escaped relatively unscathed during the French Revolution and became the parish church.

Inside it is a large, rather plain church with a long tall nave with fluted pillars with a small triforium above and plain glass clerestory windows. The organ is at the back of the church above the west door.

Side chapels with massive altars, usually with a large C16th painting above, line the sides of the side aisles. Locked wrought iron gates restrict entry.

The apse is small with a simple high altar with tall candlesticks and host box topped with the crucifixion.

In front of the high altar is a C12th carving of the Black Madonna, now protected in a perspex case. Originally carved from fruitwood, it has darkened over time. Traces of the original painting can still be seen.

Behind the high altar and screened by the red curtains are C15th tapestries depicting the life of the virgin. There is a small charge to enter.

Above the arch into the ambulatory is a statue of Archangel Michael defeating Satan, represented by a dragon. there are three small chapels off the ambulatory.

This probably doesn’t rank as a ‘must see’ in Beaune.

This was Day 3 of Burgundy, the River Rhone and Provence, a river cruise with Riviera Travel.

My full account with all the pictures can be found “here.”:


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