Détail chapiteau - Cloître de l'abbaye de Moissac

 

SAINT PETER’S ABBEY MOISSAC

What is an Abbey ?

An abbey is a group of buildings where monks lived under the rule of the Abbott. Today in Moissac only certain elements have been kept : the Abbey church (now the parish church), a hostel for pilgrims, chapels and the cloister. The tympanum and the cloister are on the UNESCO World Heritage list due to the Santiago de Compostella pilgrim route. Soon, the story of the Abbey, will be recounted on a dedicated web site.

Vue aérienne de l'abbaye de MoissacPortail roman de l'abbaye de Moissac

Why is it exceptionnal ?

The Abbey is remarkable for the delicacy of its sculpture, unique in the South-West of France, and it is nearly a THOUSAND YEARS OLD ! The cloister was completed in 1100, it is the oldest surviving cloister with historiated capitals in the world ! The 76 capitals tell the story of the Church, the Old and the New Testament and the lives of the martyrs : it is like reading a cartoon book on the four side of the capitals. Don’t miss the chapel in the south-west corner, the vaulting is supported on twelve square ribs radiating out from a circular key-stone. Climb the spiral staircase, you have a dominant view of the inside of the church, entirely hand-painted.

Cloitre roman de l'Abbaye de Moissac

The South Door, with the masterpiece that is the Tympanum, build mid-XIIth Century is directly inspired by the Book of Revelations, written by St John. It surprises by its  large size and the quality of its composition : the 24 elders surrouding Christ in glory amaze by their sylistic achievement ! On each side of the Tympanum, which should be restored shortly, the splays, depict on the left, scenes from the Old Testament and scuptures illustrating the themes of Avarice and Lewdness. On the right are illustrated scenes of the New Testament : a stunning Annunciation and a rather delicate Flight into Egypt. The Old and the New Laws are represented on the side of the pier by the very fine and elegant figure of Jeremy and the more severe figure of Peter.

Vieillard tympan roman sud-ouest de l'Abbaye de MoissacMise en lumière du tympan de l' abbaye de Moissac

In the cloister, you can view a film explaining the different scuptures and details of the Tympanum. In summer, You will be able to view the illumination of the Tympanum in colour (mid-July to mid-August, every Tuesday at about 9.30pm).

Other Buildings

Inside the Abbey church, visitors discover a brightly-lit nave, due to the warm and light painted decoration, in the Gothic style typical of the south of France. Along the nave, in the last chapel on your right, discover the spectacular polychromatic carved Entombment, c.1500.

From The garden of the Patus, the Abbott’s Lodging, « hôtellerie Ste Foix », hosts temporary exhibitions. Discover the 11th century chapel in the Abbott’s lodging and its vault decorated with 12th century mural « a fresco ». The blues and ochre of the Tree of Jessé, family tree of Christ, play with the branches which carry the prophets with their beautiful grave faces. Rare and deeply moving !

Jardin du Patus - Abbaye de MoissacFresque XIIe siècle chapelle romane Moissac

North of the cloister, beyond the railway track which threatened to destroy the cloister, in 1840, is the old seminary used during the season to show art exhibitions.

 

 

Vendredi 7 octobre  :  14h30-16h30

Samedi 8 Octobre : 10h30-14h30-16h30

Dimanche 9 octobre : 10h30

Lundi 10 octobre : 10h30-14h30-16h30

Mardi 11 octobre 14h30-16h30

Dimanche 16 octobre 14h30-16h30

 

How can I visit ?

Horaires de visite :

Visit of the Abbey : 2 hours not guided, excluding exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

Guided visit of the church and the cloister : between 1 and 2 hours

 

 

 

 

 

Audio-guided tour of the cloister and the tympanum : 45 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

Visit of the church and the cloister : 1 hour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening time of the Abbey church :

7 am to 7 pm every day (closed to the public during religious services)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening times of the Tourist Office and the Cloister :

July - August : 9 am - 7 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

September : 9 am - 6 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April - May - June - October : 9 am - 12 pm & 2 pm - 6 pm -

 

 

 

Week-end & Bank Holidays : 10 am - 12 pm & 2 pm - 6 pm

 

 

 

 

 

November to March : 10 am - 12 pm & 2 pm - 5 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week-end & Bank Holidays : 2 pm - 5 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opening time of the Hostelry Sainte-Foix : according to exhibition

 

 

 

 

 

Opening time of the Romanesque Chapel : only with a booked guided visit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guided visit open to the public, giving the milestones of the evolution of the abbey and the keys to understanding the sculptures of the capitals according to themes : the monks life, the bestiary, the cloister, funerary art, Medieval colors, culinary arts… Be aware, times vary according to the season.

NEW:

Visite numérique moissac occitanie

Digital tours (on Wednesdays at 11am, July and August) using 3D technology : visitors are equipped with tablets and are directed by the guide to observe inaccessible details of the capitals, created with 80,000 shots.

 

And children  ?

Themed guided visits (in French) for children during school holidays.

Also available are children’s booklets (only in French)

 

Tariff 2017

SingleEntranceGuided visitDuration
Adult 6, 50 € 9 € 1h30
Reduced tariff (Pilgrims, eco-tourism, unemployed, students, 12-18 years old) 4 € 6,50 € 1h30
Children 7-12 years old (with booklet, only in French) 1 € 1 € 1h
Children - 6 years old (with flyer, only in French) Free Free  
Pass holders, group leaders and their bus driver Free Free  
Nocturnal guided visit (Tuesdays, during summer only)  - 5 € 1h
Private Tours (min 2 pers - max 9 pers)  - - 2h
Visite Spéciale enfant / accompagnant gratuit   4 €  
Famille (2 adultes + 2 enfants) 14 € 18 €  

 

Groups> 10 persons (booking advised a month in advance)
EntranceGuided visitDuration
Adult 4,50 € 7 € 45 min - 1h30
Schools 1 € 4 € 45 min - 1h
Adult with local specialities tasting (chasselas) 6,50 € 9 € 1h30
Adult with personal welcome (tour commented from your hotel, coach parking reservation and tasting) 10 € 12 €  
Group leader and their bus driver Free  Free  
Nocturnal guided visit (after closing time)  - 9 € 1h
Other services (personalised support, game in the Abbey, outside the Abbey and on the river Tarn ...) See Groupe Tab See Groupe Tab