“The most beautiful Cloister in the whole world”, with the Abbey’s instantly recognisable Tympanum thanks to it featuring in the film “The Name of the Rose”. This abbey perimeter is renowned throughout the world.
A Mecca of Romanesque art.
In the heart of the South-West the confluence of the Tarn and the Garonne overflows with treasures which are well worth a detour to visit the Abbey Saint Pierre in Moissac with its Cloister.
(The cloister and the tympanum are registered on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites, as regards the Way of Saint James).
Legend has it that the Abbey was founded by King Clovis… This Benedictine Monastery was, during the middle Ages, one of the most important communities in western Christendom, thanks to its strategic position on a crossroads of different lines of communication both fluvial and terrestrial : between Toulouse, Bordeaux and Albi, between Quercy and Gascony, the Abbey received favourable treatment under the rule of the Carolingians.
A Cloister registered on the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.
It is the first cloister to have kept its sculptures intact, it is remarkable for its 76 capitals of which 46 are historiated as much for its cornerstones. The portal : 12 century, constitutes another monument of romanesque sculpture, famed for its Tympanum which shows an interpretation of the Apocalypse according to Saint John. The Abbey church of Saint Pierre, 12th and 15th centuries: its base is romanesque and its upper parts are Gothic.
Cloître de Moissac
Who are Guided Visits for?
Guided visit are good for all members of the public, they cover the large stages of development of the Abbey before describing the capitals according to a variety of themes : the life of monks, fantasy beasts, the cloister stone garden, funerary art, the colours of the Middle Ages, art of the table… NB opening times vary according to the seasons. November to March: daily at 13.30hrs; April to October : daily.
And for children?
During school holidays we have specific guided visits tailored for children. Fun guides of 12 illustrated pages are available for ages 3-6, 6-12 and 12-16 : allow about 1h30.
How to visit?
Unguided visit of the whole Abbey : 2 hours excluding temporary exhibitions.
Guided visit of Abbey and Cloister ; 1-2 hours (see below for times)
Audioguide of the Tympanum and Cloister : 45 mins
Unguided visit of the Abbey and Cloister : 1 hour
When to visit?
November to March : 1.30pm to 5 pm
April to June & October : 10am to 12pm & 2pm to 6pm
July to September : 10am to 7pm
Closed : 25th December & 1st January