Moissac Abbey was a Benedictine and Cluniac monastery in Moissac, France. A number of its medieval buildings survive including the abbey church, which has famous and important Romanesque sculpture around the entrance. According to legend, Moissac abbey was founded by Clovis (the Frankish king), but from historical information it was founded by Saint Didier, bishop of Cahors in the middle of the 7th century. The establishment of the monastery was difficult because of raids by the Moors and the Norsemen.
The 11th and 12th centuries witnessed a first golden age, the result of Moissac being affiliated to the abbey of Cluny and its accepting the Cluniac Reforms, under the guidance of Durand de Bredons who was both the Abbot of Moissac and the bishop of Toulouse. This outstanding era witnessed the major abbots Dom Hunaud de Gavarret, and Dom Ansquitil; who had the doorway and tympanum built. In the 13th century, Raymond de Montpezat and then Bertrand de Montaigut, abbots and builders, ruled the abbey.
Aymeric de Peyrac, writing his Chronicle in the 15th century in the castle of Saint Nicolas de la Grave reveals us those events. n 1793, the French Revolution put an end to monastic life in Moissac. The abbey church of St Pierre is relatively intact and is still an active church, but the outlying buildings have suffered a lot. In the middle of the 19th century, the laying of a railway track threatened the cloister but it was saved (though the refectory was demolished to facilitate the railway cutting) and listed as a historic monument.
Since 1998 the church and cloisters have had international protection as part of a World Heritage Site, Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. Architectural features of interest include the church's south-west portico, a crenellated structure which is notable for its sculpture. The tympanum depicts the apocalypse. Supporting the tympanum, a trumeau features a statue of the Prophet Jeremiah, an outstanding example of Romanesque sculpture, comparable to the work at Santo Domingo de Silos. The cloisters also feature Romanesque sculpture.