Sunday, April 21, 2019

Basilique Saint-Julien de Brioude

This is a more or less romanesque style church built in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It's about an hour north of Le Puy-en-Velay where we stayed for a week last month. Ken read that the church was worth seeing, so we stopped in Brioude on the way home to have a look.

Saint-Julien's western facade and bell tower.

That day, a Saturday, turned out to be market day in Brioude. We found a parking spot on the main street through town and started following the people who were going to market, figuring that the church would be in the center of town, close to the market. Even though the church is big and its bell tower is tall, it's not easy to spot from the town's narrow winding streets. Sure enough, our path took us right up to the church's front door.


  1. I'm always surprised when in these small towns how difficult it is to spot a big church from within the streets. This facade is fascinating with all its different stone. It's like a mosaic.

  2. how 'active' are these churches? meaning are the mostly tourist/museums or places of active worship?

  3. mitch, it's easy to get lost in the smallest places!

    michael, it depends on how big the town is, I think. Most are active at least on high holidays, some are more active, and many do double duty as concert venues (chamber music, not rock and roll). Often when I go into a church I will see a few people sitting in the pews praying.


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