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Eglise Monolithe Church, Saint-Emilion

Incredible underground church and catacombs

This church, sited in the higher part of Saint-Emilion town, is incredible underground feat, carved out of the rock over three centuries.

As large as a cathedral, it was built by Benedictine monks between the 11th & 12th centuries, and is the largest of its kind in Europe. It has a maze of tunnels that include vast catacombs. The bell tower sits an amazing 53 metres above the town and offers fantastic views over the area...if you have the energy to climb the 196 steps!

You can take a tour of the underground part of the church where you will discover much more about the heritage of Saint Emilion and the story of the monk Emilion who first settled there in the 8th century. There are some beautiful carvings and murals in the Trinity Chapel. Well worth a visit.

Visitor comments

  • "Nice building sat above some interesting caves and catacombs. Definitely take a tour especially on a hot day to get out of the sun." - Trip Advisor
  • "Absolutely amazing building structure, well worth a visit. I would recommend going on the tour underground to truly appreciate the history and construction. Tickets from the information centre." - Trip Advisor
  • "It's a bell tower, it's the biggest building in the village, it's built on top of the monolithe church and overlooks most of the village at roof top level. So you can't miss it wherever you go in the village which is in itself a nice place to visit. Don't spend all your time in the wine shops visit the village and look up!" -  Trip Advisor

When to come

The church is open all year, although it will be much busier during the summer months of July and August.

How to book

There is a charge for the tour and numbers will vary but they will take a maximum of 50 people on each tour. You can book a tour on your arrival or if you wish to book in advance then it would be wise to telephone them. You can also book online using the website link above.

Child policy

Children under the age of 12, when accompanied by a parent, can take the tour free of charge.


  • Place du Marché
  • 33330


Saint Emilion, Bordeaux

Map of the surrounding area