The Old Church of St Peter and the Archaeological Museum

1128 Reviews

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2017

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On your own

Reasons for trip

The deconsecrated church of St Peter is the oldest church in Vienne and now houses the Archaeological Museum. This displays Roman remains from around the city and doesn’t look as if it has been touched since it was set up in 1872, and is now overshadowed by new modern “museum”: across the river.

The church is worth visiting just for its architecture as it is a virtually unchanged early Romanesque church. The Roman remains are a bonus!

Near the remains of the Roman Wall, the church dates from the C5th and is one of the oldest churches in France. It was an important monastery and most of the Bishops of Vienne were buried here. The apse and the nave are part of the original building. The rest of the building with its square pillars and round top arches dates from the C11th when the bell tower porch was added.

As in all Romanesque churches, the chancel apse is small compared with the nave. At the end of the south aisle, steps lead up into the Chapel of Notre Dame which was added in the C12th.

This is a wonderful building and definitely worth visiting.


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