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Visit Underground Church of Saint-Jean at Aubeterre-sur-Dronne

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The Church of Saint-Jean is an impressively huge subterranean church, hand-hewn out of a rock hillside in the 12th century.

In the main room, two massive columns rise up to a nearly 60-foot-high ceiling. A winding stairway, also hewn out of the rock, allows visitors to climb up through the back wall to passages at the top that provide a beautiful view of the main room through a series of windows and overlooks.

It was originally built to house religious artifacts; to the side of the main room is a Roman reliquary that was apparently discovered during the first Crusade. Off of the main room is a necropolis containing over 80 sarcophagi.