Brioude - Saint-Julien by Martin M. Miles on Flickr.
The Basilica Saint-Julien in Brioude was a collegiate church constructed between 1100 - 1180. The architectoral structure is influenced by great romanesque churches like “Notre-Dame-Du-Port” in Clermont-Ferrand (70kms north) or “Saint-Austremoine” in Issoire (30kms north), planned and constructed within the same century. The buildings of the former collegiate got demolished after the French Revolution, the structure of the church (though remodeled in some parts over the centuries) is still pretty much intact. Even the crossing tower, seen here, is still in the original state.
Brioude was a center of pilgrimage very early, as already within the 4th century a “martyrion” existed over the grave of St. Julien. This building was replaced by an early basilica, that was visited and described by Gregory of Tours (538-594)in, who wrote about a pilgrimage undertaken yearly from Avernis (= Clermont-Ferrand) to Brioude. Later this was a stopover for pilgrims to Santiago, only two days (60kms) away from Le Puy (Via Podensis).