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South France

Languedoc Roussillon, Rhône Alpes, Pyrenées Atlantiques, Cote d'Azure, Provence





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Fontfroide Abbey (Cistercian) (Languedoc)


Fontfroide Abbey in Languedoc in the foothills of the Pyrenees in South West France was founded in 1093 as a Benedictine Abbey, and joined the Cistercians in 1146.  It achieved an early link with the grizzly realities of the medieval world when the murder of one of its monks (and legate to Pope Innocent III), Pierre Castelnau, led to the Albigensian Crusade.   



Over time the Abbey became very wealthy indeed, with 25 granges and over 20,000 animals.  Later, as the number of monks declined, so their standard of living climbed - by the 1700s one abbey cook was receiving more pay than the abbey's total donations to the "shameful poor".   The buildings (including chapter house and cloisters from the 1100s) were saved in the French revolution because the City of Narbonne turned them into a hospice.  Later the cloisters narrowly escaped the clutches of an American millionaire who planned to relocate them to New York.


Valmagne Abbey (Cistercian) (Languedoc) Sénanque Abbey (Active Cistercian) Cote d'Azure (/ Provence)

The mountain Abbaye de Boscodon


Crossing the Alps via the Col de Montgenevre



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