St-Simon: through a monumental artistic work covering more than 100 m², discover the life of Gerbert who became the first French, known as Sylvester II, the Pope of the first millennium.
GERBERT, who became the pope of the first millennium under the name of SYLVESTER II, was born and raised in our village of Saint-Simon, close to Aurillac at the foot of the Cantal hills.
Ten centuries later, in June 2001, the Hungarian President came to Saint-Simon to honour Sylvester II, who is considered in Hungary as the founder of the sovereign state. This presidential visit inspired the idea in Saint-Simon of creating a place to honour GERBERT’s memory. It would provide an opportunity for visitors to discover a rich cultural heritage.
The church of Saint-Simon provided the ideal setting for a project that would depict the life of Pope GERBERT through a series of paintings. This fresco, painted in 2003 and 2004, was presented to the public in 2005 through an audio guide system which is still in operation. Today, with the “ST-SIMON - THE LIFE OF GERBERT” application, this visit is accessible to everyone directly on smartphone or tablet, in French, English and Hungarian.
To honour GERBERT and Franco-Hungarian ties, elected officials from both countries naturally chose the Hungarian painter Gábor Szinte, a recognised artist, professor at the School of Fine Arts in Budapest, and fervent admirer of the incredible journey of the little shepherd from Cantal who became pope. The whole work, which the artist painted free of charge, covers 110 m²: the panels of the central nave, 280x150 cm in size, are painted in vinyl tempera on canvas; in the choir, the painted mural is on a gold background."
"Once the ""ST-SIMON - THE LIFE OF GERBERT"" application has been downloaded to your smartphone, follow a journey that begins in the central square of the village at the foot of the church tower, continues inside the church in front of the thirteen paintings by Gábor Szinte, in front of the baptismal font, and ending not far from there, on the beautiful medieval stone bridge that spans the river Jordanne.
Be inspired by the extraordinary story of GERBERT, the little shepherd boy from the Cantal, who, after becoming a master of algebra, mathematics and astronomy, became a politician, ""kingmaker"", archbishop and, ultimately, pope: SYLVESTER II POPE OF THE FIRST MILLENNIUM.