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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Haute-Loire

Lavaudieu - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Haute-Loire

Listed among the most beautiful villages of France, Lavaudieu in Haute-Loire stands peacefully on the banks of the Senouire, 9 kilometres east of Brioude.

A charming place for a relaxing stroll, this wonderful village is renowned for its Benedictine abbey. Founded in the 11th century by Robert de Turlande, the abbey boasts a remarkable, perfectly preserved Romanesque cloister, unique in Auvergne! Another gem to admire in the abbey is the splendid refectory fresco from the 12th century, inspired by the Byzantine style, depicting Christ in Majesty above the Virgin surrounded by the Apostles. Topped by a Romanesque octagonal bell tower, the abbey church houses superb wall paintings from the Italian School, dating from the 14th century.

Then take the time to stroll along the village's narrow streets and along the Senouire to admire its golden stone houses with rounded tile roofs, the two-storey bell tower at the Abbey of St. Andrew and the old bridge with several arches spanning the river. A most picturesque scene...

To learn about daily life in the old days, head to the Haute-Loire Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, based in an old baker's house, where you can discover a reconstruction of a traditional Auvergne interior, as well as many objects from everyday life and the trades of bygone times.

Additional information

Ranked among the most beautiful villages in France, Lavaudieu is a small town in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes located in the department of Haute-Loire. Near Brioude, it is also crossed by the Sénouire.

The village of Lavaudieu was born at the beginning of the eleventh century with the foundation of the abbey Saint-André. Today, it develops an important tourist activity because of its rich architectural heritage and its authentic side.

The medieval narrow alleys and the typical houses of the regional architecture make it a place appreciated by visitors and lovers of old stones and history. This old rural village has lost nothing of its traditions and still unveils today the way of life of former times, particularly through its museum of arts and folk traditions.

Things to see and do

Inhabited by Benedictine nuns until the French Revolution, Saint-André Abbey of Lavaudieu was built in the middle of the eleventh century by St. Robert of Turlande. Today, it is the only Romanesque abbey in Auvergne to have preserved its cloister, and it presents in its interior Romanesque frescoes, including a Byzantine fresco in the former refectory. The Saint-André Abbey is listed and classified as a Historic Monument for its various elements. It still has an 11th-century church, a 12th-century cloister, and a more recent refectory. The bell-tower of the church, truncated to the Revolution, reveals in a rather original way a pike and a Phrygian cap at its summit.

The village also presents a museum of arts and folk traditions that unveils life in Lavaudieu, formerly, as well as different collections around this small rural community.

Walking along the narrow streets, you will discover traditional vineyard houses with golden stones and round tiles, vegetable gardens around the abbey, or the banks arranged for walks along the banks of the Sénouire. In the village, an iron cross of the mid-eighteenth century still stands proudly.

Places of interest

Leisure centres

Events and festivities

In July, the festival of the barrel dates from the French Revolution and today offers various animations such as a tournament of petanque, a "casser de biches" with a barrel of wine, fireworks, or even musical performances.

In September, the town proposes a festival of rock music.


The bridge
The bridge
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General view
General view
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The church
The church
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The central square
The central square
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby


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