Abbaye de Fontevraud

The Fontevraud Abbey was founded in 1101 by Robert d’Arbrissel. It became quickly nationally and internationally successful. Thus, the abbey, a place for prayer and simplicity, thanks to the donations of the rich local families, became a monastic city.

As a victim of its success, it was subject to criticism but was also under the Pope protection. As a matter of interest, the abbey was the first one to have abbots and abbess, and was ruled by these latter.

After the French revolution, the abbey was dismantled and the buildings became State properties. Napoleon I, in 1804, turned the abbey into a prison and undertook work to adapt the place to its new purpose.

The Fontevraud Abbey was listed as a French historical monument in 1840. It was closed from 1963 until the late 20th century in order to restore it. Today, the abbey hosts many artistic courses and events as well as a museum.

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