Bonneval Abbey

Le Cayrol, France

Bonneval Abbey was founded as a monastery of Cistercian monks in Le Cayrol. Bonneval Abbey was founded in 1147 by Cistercian monks from Mazan Abbey, in Rouergue. Its name means 'good valley', a typical Cistercian name. Bonneval quickly became a rich and powerful abbey, owning extensive estates throughout the country.

In the mid-14th century it suffered from the Black Death and underwent much damage and loss during the Hundred Years' War, as the Rouergue was given to the English in 1360 by the Treaty of Brétigny. Towns and abbeys were looted, and Bonneval, although fortified, was unable to keep out the English troops and the bands of marauding French bandits.

A long period of decadence followed. Nevertheless, Bonneval was chosen in the 17th century to educate novices from every Cistercian abbey in southwest France. During the French Revolution, in 1791, the 13 remaining monks had to leave. The abbey and its goods were sold off, and the buildings subsequently quarried for stone.

In 1875, Trappist nuns came to rebuild the abbey. They also opened a chocolate factory, and installed a turbine on the river to produce electricity. In 1902, they founded what is now known as Bon-Conseil Abbey, in Quebec, Canada.

Today, the community at Bonneval consists of 30 nuns. They still produce a well-known chocolate, but above all they endeavour to fulfill their vocation of prayer.



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Founded: 1147
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

BESSON Sandra (9 months ago)
Too bad it is impossible to visit the chocolate factory, no smell, no clue that chocolate is made here, we find it difficult to want to buy the product. Very quiet and well maintained site.
Patrick Kneis (9 months ago)
Wonderful landscape. Too bad it is not possible to visit the abbey but I understand perfectly. Find out about the times of the masses, the songs are magnificent. Production and sale of absolutely delicious chocolates.
Ghislaine Lefrancois (11 months ago)
A little gem in beautiful vegetation. A welcome and perfect hospitality both in the hostelry of L'Abbaye and in the Saint Jacques Tower renovated for pilgrims. Very warm welcome from the sisters. To visit... Without forgetting the production of Bonneval chocolate
celine HERIAUD (2 years ago)
Not much to visit at the level of the abbey .. but beautiful hikes to do around with practical parking space .. very expensive chocolates and impossible to taste before.
Michel Manileve (2 years ago)
Abbey for a spiritual retreat, but not for heritage lovers, who will be satisfied with the tour of the abbey and the visit of the shop, where you will find chocolate made by the Malakoff style currencies or tablet
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