Monday, 4 July 2011

Abbey of St. Philibert, Tournus, France

The route for the 8th day of the Tour de France 2010 was from Tournus to Station de Rousses, a distance of 165.5 km or 103 miles. This was the 7th Stage and it was a medium mountain stage. Sylvain Chavanel won the Stage and with it the yellow jersey. Thor Hushovd retained the green jersey, Jerome Pineau went to the top of the mountain classification points table and took over the red polka dot jersey, while Andy Schleck took over the white jersey signifying the best young rider (under 26 years) from Geraint Thomas.

Tournus is a riverside town on the banks of the River Saone. St. Valerian brought christianity to this place in the 2nd century A.D. But he was executed by the Romans and his tomb became a secret place of pilgrimage for the christians of that period. When christianity became legal under Emperor Constantine a monastery was founded on the site in the 6th century A.D. But in the 9th century King Charles the Bald offered the Abbey of St. Valerian to the followers of St. Philibert because their monastery had been captured by the Normans. The Tournus Abbey therefore had the not very common experience of being shared by two different monastic communities devoted to St. Valerian, and St. Philibert.

Today the Tournus Abbey is known as Abbey of St. Philbert and dominates Tournus. It is a fortress like Romanesque church with many interesting features. Amongst other features it has a an impressively tall nave with an unusual vault, carved capitals and floor mosaics depicting the zodiac.

My sketch shows the Abbey as seen from within its courtyard, and is based on a photograph by Jan Sokol. the sketch is about 9.5 cm x 12 cm.


  1. Lovely perspective. This one is done this year?

  2. No, this is from last year. I did all of the sketches related to the 2010 Tour route last year between July and August, but I got down to posting them only now.
    I hope to post my 2011 Tour sketches once I am done posting last year's sketches.