The Benedictine Sorde Abbey in the village Sorde-l’Abbaye was founded at the end of the 10th century on the banks of the Gave d’Oloron river. This remarkable architectural ensemble overlooks a natural setting that is now protected.

The abbot’s residence from the 14th and 15th centuries was built on the remains of a Roman villa (3rd- 6th centuries). Currently being restored, the building is open to the public during the National Archaeology Days and European Heritage Days: tour of the thermal baths and ancient mosaics. 

The monastery buildings were rebuilt at the end of the 17th century. They are open to the public from March to November.The abbey church's the tympanum, decorative capitals, Romanesque period mosaics and an impressive 18th century marble high altar are some of the most interesting works. A miniature model shows what the abbey looked like before it was last destroyed.

Sorde Abbey is listed as an Historic Monument and has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List as part of the Pilgrim’s Route in France to Santiago de Compostela.



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Founded: 10th century AD
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

Paul Tulip (4 years ago)
A very interesting and pretty place to visit
Helene Coyne-Tulip (4 years ago)
Very beautiful historic Abbaye and Church well worth the visit
Barbara Melton (4 years ago)
A very well kept abbey in a pretty village. It was a very hot day so keeping in the shade overrode some of the commentary!
Geoff Weller (5 years ago)
Predominately ruins, but some interesting sections remaining, including the storage rooms asking the river. A few displays also with a look.
Tove Lau (5 years ago)
went for an evening visit with very low expectations. It was simply magic! brought my 3 year old who loved It too. Caves under the monastry were cool and make sure to visit the place close to the river
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