The church of St-Pardoux, which lies on the outskirts of the village of La Tour d’Auvergne, is listed as a Historic Monument. Known as "la Petite Cathédrale des Champs",
CHURCH OF ST PARDOUX (LA TOUR D’AUVERGNE)
it is made up of a Romanesque base, a portal and central nave dating back to the 12th century.
During the 13th century, a Gothic structure was built on top of the Romanesque base. The southern entrance portal, featuring 17th century painting, is what remains of the Romanesque structure.
It also features a large triumphal arch, resting on engaged columns topped by capitals with plant motifs. According to tradition, this arch marked the entrance to the original Romanesque chancel before the subsequent transformations.
Keystones featuring people and plant motifs also appear on this ornamental ensemble, which can be dated back to the 14th century.
Work undertaken during the 17th century means that we cannot say whether the original Romanesque chancel has been preserved. Two side chapels were built during the 15th century, the beams in the north nave date from the 16th and 17th centuries and the altarpiece can be dated back to between 1720 and 1740. In 1735, there were 1300 communicants at Saint-Pardoux (the entire adult population), and Sainte-Anne is the church’s patron saint, celebrated on the last Sunday in July.
This is an astonishing church due to its totally unusual layout, as it was not built in the shape of a cross and does not face east, but north instead.
If the church is not open, the key is available on request from the house outside the entrance (house with veranda).
At the Tour d’Auvergne exit, take the RD 203 towards Clermont-Ferrand.