Fontguilhem Abbey

Masseilles, France

Fontguilhem abbey was founded in 1124 near a source called Fons Gallia. It was occupied by the monks of Gondom abbey and joined the Cistercian order in 1147 as daughter-house of Cadouin. In 1309, Pope Clement V granted his forbearance to all those who, after having confessed, took part in the construction of a new church and a new cloister.

After the French Revolution, the monastery was sold as a national asset. The new owners repaired the abbey palace which had been built in the 17th and 18th centuries. Part of the conventual buildings, including the vestry, was transformed into farm buildings; and the rest of the abbey, including the church, was used to build the neighbouring village of Grignols.

Today, Fontguilhem is made up of two groups of buildings: south west, part of the abbey-palace with a remarkable wrought iron gate, the work of Blaise Charlus. Inside, on the ground floor, court-side a dining room can be found which has retained part of its Louis XVI decor. On the first floor of the south side, the old cells, spread symmetrically on each side of a long central corridor which leads to the Abbot's balcony.

The building on the northeast side is made from stone and wood. In the stone part, can be found the most visible medieval remains of the old abbey including a room with low barrel vaults, illuminated by two semi-circular windows.

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Details

Founded: 1124
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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