Gorze Abbey

Gorze, France

Gorze Abbey was a Benedictine monastery in Gorze in the present arrondissement of Metz, near Metz in Lorraine. It was founded in around 757 by Bishop Chrodegang of Metz, who obtained for it from Rome the relics of Saint Gorgonius.

The Gorze Reform was similar to the Cluniac Reform in that it aimed at a reestablishment of the Rule of St. Benedict, but quite different in several major areas. In particular, whereas Cluny created a centralised system of authority in which the religious houses adopting its reforms became subordinate to Cluny itself, the Gorze reforms preserved the independence of the participating monasteries, and resulted instead in a network of loosely connected affiliations based on several centres, such as Fulda, Niederaltaich, Einsiedeln and St. Emmeram's Abbey in Regensburg.

From the 12th century Gorze ceased to occupy the central spiritual position it had had previously. Nevertheless, in material terms it continued to prosper, and in the 12th and 13th centuries undertook substantial building works, including the lay church, which alone of the abbey buildings still survives, as the present parish church of Saint Stephen.

The extensive territory which the abbey accumulated became known as the 'Terre de Gorze'. The abbey was dissolved in 1572 as a consequence of the Reformation. An attempt at a re-foundation in 1580 came to nothing, and the buildings, apart from St. Stephen's church, were demolished.

Abbot's Palace

The 'Terre de Gorze' continued however as a territorial unit, with an abbot as its overlord, even in the absence of a monastic community. In the 1660s these lands passed from the Holy Roman Empire to France. In the 1690s, the Prince-Abbot Eberhard von Löwenstein built an appropriately splendid residence, which still stands. At the time of the French Revolution the building was confiscated and sold off and was later used for a variety of military and local government purposes, particularly as a workhouse for the poor. The palace has now been restored and is in use as a museum, old people's home and for several other purposes. The gardens, nymphaeum and chapel are all of architectural and artistic interest.



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Place Beauvent 4, Gorze, France
See all sites in Gorze


Founded: 12th century
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

Philippe COSSALTER (7 months ago)
Gorze is a bit forgotten and is no longer a local tourist destination. But the collegiate church, the architecture of the town and the surrounding nature are worth the visit.
Bernard Ballevre (7 months ago)
Magnificent collegiate church which reminds us that Gorze was the center of the "Terre de Gorze", an important and rich abbey lordship attached to France in 1661. Gorze Abbey is one of the most important centers of “Messin chant” later called “Gregorian chant”. It is regrettable that the town no longer has the same means and struggles to maintain this magnificent testimony to its past splendor.
Ana Correia (Flyingirl1978) (2 years ago)
Passage during a motorcycle rally. The church deserves a nice restoration job, but it's still pretty. The population is very friendly and helped us solve our puzzle!
Jacques Grolet (5 years ago)
Very interesting, especially on the historical level
Emmanuelle Robert (5 years ago)
I have lived there for almost 22 years now, and I have seen the village evolve. The calm is incomparable for lazy Sunday mornings. Kindergarten, primary, crèche, and extracurricular schools, as well as many childminders, can accommodate very young children; the older ones benefit from school bus service, and several associations provide a wide variety of activities. It's a pity that since the retirement of our baker, there is no more bread in the village... on good terms ;)
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