The Cistercian Abbaye de Noirlac, founded in 1136, is a fine example of medieval monastic architecture. The chapter house, where the monks’ daily assemblies were held, and the cellier, where the lay brothers were in charge of the food, wine and grain stores, were built in plain but elegant style. The cloisters, with their graceful arches and decorated capitals, date from the 13th and 14th centuries, which was a less severe period.

  • Eyewitness Travel Guide: Loire Valley. 2007


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Founded: 1136
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

Yannick Issoudun (2 years ago)
Remarque... Personnel à l'écoute, sympathique, très professionnel... Lieu très bien aménagé, cadre magnifiquement mis en valeur... Bravo
ducky duck (2 years ago)
Magnifique lieu certes déserté par les moines mais dont les vibrations de ce lieu dont magiques. De plus ce weekend, celui du 10/nov/2018 un marché monastique se tient. Tous les produits de qualité présentés viennent de toute la France des divers monastères et couvents.
Vincent Huard (2 years ago)
Magnifique site dans un lieu caché du centre de la France. Je vous conseille la visite guidée qui permet de parfaitement comprendre l'histoire du site. La visite est adaptée aux enfants qui en plus peuvent grâce à un petit livre résoudre une énigme. Le personnel d'accueil est vraiment très sympathique et la guide très intéressante. Cette visite peut être faite en famille sans aucun soucis.
Jem LM (2 years ago)
Site magnifique, malheureusement un peu caché quand on ne connait pas. Personnel aux petits soins, visite guidée instructive. On y apprécie le calme et la sérénité des lieux. L'architecture est magnifique. Les jardins splendides et parfaitement entretenus. Le petit moment de bonheur : passer quelques minutes au calme sous des tilleuls plusieurs fois centenaires. De la détente instructive.
Nigel Welch (2 years ago)
Totally restored but without any historic or authentic furnishings to show what life would have been like
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Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.