Oratoire de Germigny-des-Prés

Top choice in The Loire Valley

One of France’s few Carolingian-era churches, this exceptional oratory – sadly, over-restored in the mid-19th century – is renowned for its unusual Maltese-cross layout and gilt-and-silver mosaic of the biblical Ark of the Covenant (early 9th century; see Exodus 25:10-21). Audioguides (€3) and information sheets in several languages are available at the adjacent tourist office, or you can download the audio tour from its website. Signs are in French and English.

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