The Eglise St-Trophime is a masterpiece of 12th-century Romanesque architecture in the Provençal city of Arles, which is located on the banks of the River Rhône and on the doorstep of the wild, marshy Camargue. Along with the city’s many Roman remains, the church was UNESCO World Heritage-listed in 1981; it was constructed from pale-hued stone in the 11th and 12th centuries and dedicated to Trophime, who was an early bishop of Arles and later its patron saint.
Its magnificent, colonnaded Romanesque portal was restored in the late 20th century; its carvings depict the Last Judgment, with Christ overseeing anguished sinners being dragged down into Hell and the righteous ascending to Heaven. Statues of lions, the Apostles and other saints guard the entrance to the church, which is austere and symmetrical on the inside. The adjoining cloisters surround a tranquil garden and are a combination of Romanesque and late- Gothic architecture, with ornate columns and pillars covered with sculptures of biblical scenes and figures of saints.
The church’s chapter house has a long medieval hall with a vaulted ceiling and displays some Gobelin tapestries alongside occasional temporary exhibitions.
12 rue du Cloître, Arles. Church open daily 8.30am–6.30pm. Cloister: Nov–Feb daily 10am–5pm; Mar–Apr, Oct: daily 9am–6pm; May-Sept 9am–7pm. Admission is free.