A little history

Le Cerasus, restaurant at the Logis de l’Abbé is located on the grounds of the Abbey of Saint Savin. Built in the 17th century, the Logis de l’Abbé is an imposing edifice in the classical style. It was completed in the 19th century, when a neo-gothic crenelated tower was added.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Abbey of Saint Savin is known as the Sistine Chappel of the Romanesque period. The church is world-famous for its murals.

Ensemble abbatial de Saint Savin

The restaurant, the Cerasus, is located in the Logis de l’Abbé, a neo-medieval building. It is distinguished by its crenelated tower. (on the left in the photo).

Foundation of the Abbey of Saint Savin

“The Abbey of Saint-Savin, Order of Saint Benoît, congregation of Saint Maur, was established along the river Gartempe, in the town of Saint-Savin, nine leagues from Poitiers. It was founded by Charlemagne, in a place called Cérafus, around the year 800 […] “

The Clergy of France, by Father Hugues du Tems, page 465, M. DCC. LXXIV (1774).
Église de Saint Savin

Exclusion and decline of the Abbey

From the 9th to the 13th centuries, the Abbey of Saint Savin thrived. A significant donation from Aumode, Comtesse du Poitou, was used to build the current church. It was then, thanks to the Count of Poitiers and a noblewoman from Toiré, that the convent buildings were constructed.

After more than three centuries of prosperity, the Abbey of Saint Savin started to fall into a slow decline. First, during the Hundred Years War, then during the Wars of Religion, the Abbey of Saint Savin was repeatedly devastated and pillaged.

In 1640, the Order of Saint Maur arrived and put an end to this dark period. The monks restored the Abbey of Saint Savin and built a new monastery around it. Thus, it was on medieval foundations that le Logis de l’Abbé (the Abbot’s abode) was rebuilt at the end of the 17th century. It was effectively nationalised during the French Revolution, when teachers and troops were housed there.

In 1820, lightning caused considerable damage. The 15th century spire was partly destroyed. As it collapsed, it fell onto the roof of the Abbey of Saint Savin.

It was only at the end of the 19th century that the true heritage of the Abbey of Saint Savin was recognised. Prosper Mérimée, Inspector General of Historical Monuments, decided to that it should be preserved. In 1840, the church was listed as an historic monument, and so numerous renovation projects were undertaken, including making it watertight and preserving the frescos.

Modern life in l’Logis de l’Abbé

In 1892, Léon Félix Edoux purchased the l’Logis de l’Abbé. A native of Saint Savin, and the inventor of the “lift-fardeaux” (a type of hydraulic lift), it was Léon Edoux who coined the term “elevator” in 1867.

The locals referred to Mr. Edoux’ house as le château (the castle) since he had a crenelated tower added to the original structure. The crenelated addition served as a water tower to supply the house with running water but, most importantly, it facilitated the operation of the hydraulic elevator which Léon Edoux installed there.

Crenelated tower of l’Logis de l’Abbé – Entrance to the restaurant, Le Cerasus

While the crenelated tower still exists, Mr. Edoux’ famous and innovative elevator has disappeared. However, the very beautiful cellar of the building still houses the remnants of the hydraulic operating system.

Remnant of the elevator – the water column

The cellar will soon be converted into, among other things, a seminar spaces and a wine cellar

Cave du restaurant, le Cerasus