A little history of Saint-Etienne church in Nevers

The churchThe church | ©Jochen Jahnke / CC-BY-SA

This beautiful Romanesque church (dedicated to saint Etienne) belonged to a monastery founded by the Irish monk Colomban, abbot of Luxeuil, in 602. On a pillar inside, we can see an inscription: "Colomban founded this monastery and was the first abbot, in 600..."

An Irishman in Burgundy? Yes! A monk who came one fine day of 570 in order to evangelize our lands...

The monastery became the property of abbot Hugues, who gave it to Cluny abbey.

He entirely rebuilt the church and the buildings, surrounded by walls in 1063. Count of Nevers Guillaume spent 50 000 golden crowns for the abbey.

The church was dedicated in 1097. In 1194, the priory was included in the new city surrounding walls raised by Pierre de Courtenay; in 1475, they put up a sacristy. The buildings were rebuilt in 1646 but they didn't alter the church.

At that time, the new prior decided to extend the monastery and raised another dwelling, demolishing a huge part of the abbey...