The Abbey of Plaimpied
In the heart of Berry, just 10 minutes from Bourges, stands before you Saint-Martin de Plaimpied Abbey. Unmissable step for all enthusiasts ofRoman Art, it was founded by Richard II, Archbishop of Bourges.
Construction began with the crypt around the year 1080 and ended around 1200 with the nave. Many canons subject to the rules of Saint Augustine then settled around the latter and made it what we could consider today as a place where future priests are trained, under the aegis of the Diocese of Bourges.
The capitals and the crypt
The whole is remarkable, but it is mainly to its capitals that the Abbey today owes its notoriety. Taking advantage of a guided tour is still the best way to understand by whom and why these capitals are so admirable.
Beyond an initiatory course offered to novice canons, one can recognize many more or less rare representations such as monkeys, a mermaid, an owl, lions...
But the most beautiful of them is undoubtedly the tent of temptation. Surprising by its finesse and its excellently crafted drapes, it is in itself one of the jewels of Romanesque Art. We owe it to an artist who displayed his talent in places like the Abbey of Saint-Ruf in Avignon, or in the basilicas of Vezelay or Nazareth.
The crypt, in a very good state of conservation, is also freely accessible, which is quite rare in the region. We can guess on the vaults of old painted decorations and in particular a swastika.
Opening and guided tours
The Abbey of Plaimpied is open to the public every day of the year according to this schedule:
January - February - November - December: 8 a.m. to 17 p.m.
March - April - May - September - October: 8 a.m. to 18 p.m.
June - July - August: 8 a.m. to 19 p.m.