Tour Saint-Jean Tower of St. John
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
The Tour Saint-Jean was built in the 12th C. as part of the Abbaye Saint-Germain. It stands south of Saint-Germain's western facade; originally there was a tower built to the north of the facade-dedicated to St. Maurice-giving the church site a grand symmetry. This remaining tower's stone spire testifies to the architectural achievements of that period.The towers, along with the church facade, were part of a building campaign begun in the 11th C. that marked a revitalization of all aspects of the monastery and its Benedictine way of life. The ancient Abbaye Saint-Germain, founded in the 5th C. by Queen Clothilde, wife of King Clovis (first Christian king of the Franks), is remarkable for the evidence that remains of its long, rich history. Recent archaeological excavations have uncovered artifacts dating to the 6th C. The present church structure is built over a Carolingian crypt where frescoes dating to the 9th C. decorate the space around the tomb of St. Germain (5th C. bishop). Its large monastic complex with buildings dating to the Romanesque and Gothic periods is essentially intact. Since 1984 the abbey has been the property of the city of Auxerre and has been designated an historical monument .Its buildings are utilized as not only as museums for permanent collections of historical artifacts and art but also provide space for temporary exhibitions and auditorium presentations.August 1981
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