Fontevraud Royal Abbey

The main reason for my trip to France this year : to visit the Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Fontevraud in the Loire Valley. Formerly a monastery in the village of Fontevraud-l’Abbaye, near Chinon, it was founded in 1101 and became the center of a monastic Order. It is one of the largest surviving monastic cities from the Middle Ages, until 1792 when the last abbess was evicted following the French Revolution. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex of monastic buildings was transformed into a high security prison by order of Napoleon Bonaparte housing up to 2,000 prisioners from 1804 to 1963.

 

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Four reclining effigies of the Plantagenet dynasty: Henry 2nd, King of England and his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, previously Queen of France

 

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Chapter House – decorated with 16th century paintings depicting the scenes of the Passion of Christ. Over the years, portraits of nuns and abbesses have been added to these

 

 

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There is an enthralling art installation at the abbey by Claude Lévêque entitled Mort en été

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