Saint-Emilion Monolithic Church

Holiday Travel Guide
Eglise Monolithe showing heritage elements

Among the architectural highlights of St. Émilion is this one-of-a-kind church, which was carved out of limestone rock in the 12th century.

East of Bordeaux is St. Émilion, a picturesque Girondin town dominated by the Église Monolithe (Monolithic Church), a medieval church with a distinctive bell tower. The church was given its name because it was made out of a single block of stone, although the bell tower was added later. Explore the site and climb to the top of the tower for views over the quaint village and surrounding vineyards.

In the 8th century, a Benedictine monk lived in a cave in this valley. The monolithic church was carved out of the same rocks as that cave. Marvel at the proportions of this structure, one of the largest churches of its kind in Europe.

Enter the church from the market square. As you pass through the arch, look for a carved religious relief. At the other end of the arch, walk into the surprisingly large church nave. It is estimated that about 530,000 cubic feet (15,000 cubic meters) of rock were excavated in order to construct the church. The nave, which is 65 feet (20 meters) tall, is lit naturally by small windows carved from the rock.

Take a tour of all of St. Émilion's underground sites to learn about the monk's story in the cave where he lived. Guides will provide extra information about the church too. Tours are run every day during peak visitor season. Purchase tickets from the tourist office.

Ascend 196 steps to the top of the bell tower. Gaze down below to the winding streets, which weave around the red-tiled roofs of the village. In the distance is the King's Tower, a 13th-century fortification of unknown purpose. Surrounding the village are vineyards, which are famous for growing merlot grapes.

St. Émilion is about an hour away from Bordeaux-Merignac Airport. Find the Église Monolithe in the center of town. A long-term, metered car park is available in the northern part of the village.

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Top Trending Hotels Near Saint-Emilion Monolithic Church

Logis de la Cadène
Logis de la Cadène
The price is £172 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
Situated in Saint-Émilion, this bed & breakfast is steps away from Gate of Cadene, Saint-Emilion Monolithic Church and Saint-Émilion Bell Tower. Cordeliers Cloister ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (38 reviews)
"Charming property in a great location in the center of Saint Emilion. The only caveat is that finding the property and then managing the off site parking and the bags is tricky. Also no help with bags up the stairs so this hotel will not work for everyone."

Reviewed on 30 Sep 2021

Logis de la Cadène
Chateau Hotel & Spa Grand Barrail
Chateau Hotel & Spa Grand Barrail
5 out of 5
Route De Libourne D 243, Saint-Émilion, Gironde
This family-friendly Saint-Émilion hotel is located in a rural location, within 2 mi (3 km) of Chateau du Tailhas and Château La Dominique. Château Guadet and ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (609 reviews)
"Amazing Place!! Had a Fantastic time"

Reviewed on 14 Oct 2021

Chateau Hotel & Spa Grand Barrail
Hôtel de Pavie
Hôtel de Pavie
5 out of 5
Situated in Saint-Émilion, this luxury hotel is steps away from Collegiate Church of Saint-Emillion, Saint-Émilion Bell Tower and Saint-Emilion Monolithic Church. ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (72 reviews)
"Scenery, architecture, food"

Reviewed on 11 Oct 2021

Hôtel de Pavie
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Saint-Emilion Monolithic Church

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Auberge de la Commanderie
Auberge de la Commanderie
2 out of 5
The price is £82 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
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The price is £172 per night from 6 Dec to 6 Dec
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Chateau Hotel & Spa Grand Barrail
Chateau Hotel & Spa Grand Barrail
5 out of 5
Route De Libourne D 243, Saint-Émilion, Gironde
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Logis des Cordeliers
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The price is £90 per night from 7 Dec to 7 Dec
La Mansarde
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.