It is likely that the first monastery was founded by the bishop in Issoire Saint Austell, evangelist of the region, towards the middle of the third century. Under the patronage of Saint Peter and Saint Austremoine, the old Benedictine abbey remains a beautiful and complete example of Romanesque art in Auvergne. Large dimensions, with harmonious proportions and colors polychrome, St. Austell is the image of the other "major churches" Auvergne already built.
It contains one of the most beautiful crypts in the region.
Under the patronage of the Apostle of the Auvergne, the former Benedictine abbey of Issoire presents a facade of the nineteenth but remains, for the rest, a splendid and complete example of Romanesque art. Large dimensions - it is long over 65 meters - Saint Austremoine was probably built in one go in the second third of the twelfth century. This building replaces its neighbor as a parish church under the patronage of St. Paul, destroyed soon after the Revolution.
Composed of arkose blonde, bedside stands on a large esplanade. In a rigorous geometry with its size and decoration tiered, complex bedside is probably the most harmonious and more balanced Auvergne, accomplished fine example of Romanesque art in this region. The harmony of proportions, clean lines and simplicity of ornamentation, give the building an imprint of the divine beauty.
Above the windows of the chapels are seen the twelve signs of the zodiac, the ram of the medallion is the only redone. The low windows correspond to the crypt of berries. With the exception of the north transept, which retains its ancient appearance, the side facades have been renovated. The pseudo-Romanesque bell towers, like the façade, destroyed during the Wars of Religion, are restorations of the nineteenth century.
The abbey contains a nave composed of two floors is particularly striking for its size and its painted decoration of the nineteenth century, giving the whole a warm tone. Many capitals adorn the top of the columns representing centaurs, sheep or holders griffins.
A height of the transept, supported by four powerful arches lightweight diaphragms berries, stands a dome, 23 meters high, near the choir surrounded by its ambulatory. In the north transept, two beautiful capitals hold the attention: lust and the Annunciation.
The abbey contains a crypt, considered one of the most beautiful Auvergne. The stocky columns supporting the arches give an impression of power that underlines the absence of ornamentation. In the center lies a graceful statue of the Virgin, Our Lady of the Precious Blood, work of Henri Charlier (1941). The martyrium houses a reliquary and a fairly old statue of St. Austell.
On the left, out of the church, a wall painting of the fifteenth century, the Last Judgment, evokes bustling strong theme so dear to the artists of the time. It is treated with a lot of character and satire.