A little history of Saint-Sauveur abbey in Charroux

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Charlemagne's tower - ©Robin Poitou / CC-BY-SA Charlemagne's tower - ©Robin Poitou / CC-BY-SA
Charroux abbey Abbey Benedictine

A royal abbey

Founded by Roger, count of Limoges and his wife Euphrasie in 785, Charlemagne gave nice presents to Charroux! A piece of the Holy Cross and relic of the Holy-Vow... which is Christ’s prepuce!

In 799 the church was dedicated. Kings and princes started to give to the abbey: Louis the Debonaire exempted monks from taxes, Charles the Bald gave them a crown of thorns...

Harder times

Just before 1000, the village was besieged and plundered. They quickly re-raised the abbey and the church. The abbey became very powerful! It owned lands in Poitiers, Bordeaux, Beauvais, Agen areas but also in England. They also owned about thousands of churches, dozens of monasteries, two fortresses... But in 1136, another fire destroyed it.

Fortunately noblemen gave lot of money and privileges... But men's madness caused lots of troubles... During war of Religion and French Revolution, Charroux was burnt and plundered, even monks were murdered. Relics and golden objects disappeared, manuscripts were destroyed...

Nowadays, from the 127 metres long church remains the strange octagonal tower ("Charlemagne's tower"), which used to overlook the altar. In this altar, monks put relics, in a crypt.

And also!