La Trappe Abbey is the house of origin of Reformed Cistercians or Trappists, to whom it gave its name. It began as a small oratory chapel to the Virgin Mary, built in 1122 by Rotrou III, Count of Perche, as a memorial to his wife Matilda (n illegitimate daughter of Henry I, who drowned in the White Ship disaster of 1120). A few years later Rotrou built a monastery adjoining, which he offered to the monks of Le Breuil-Benoît Abbey near Dreux, a house of the Order of Savigny. The order was highly respected at that time for its fervour and holiness.

In 1140 the monastery of La Trappe was raised to the status of abbey. In 1147 Savigny Abbey, with all its affiliated monasteries, was united to the Cistercian Order. From that time onwards, La Trappe was a Cistercian abbey, immediately subordinate to the abbot of Clairvaux.

After years of prosperity, La Trappe suffered during the Hundred Years' War. It was in the path of both the English and French armies. The monks were forced to abandon the monastery, which was burnt and pillaged in 1376 and again in 1465. In the 16th century, after the reconstruction, the abbey, in common with many other monasteries, was given to a series of absentee abbots in commendam. The lack of leadership depressed its fortunes.

The 14th commendatory abbot, installed in 1662, Armand Jean le Bouthillier de Rancé, godson of Cardinal Richelieu, proved to be La Trappe's greatest leader. De Rancé experienced a religious conversion which led him to take his responsibilities seriously. He became abbot in fact as well as in name. From 1664 La Trappe was the centre of a thorough reform of the Cistercian Order, led by de Rancé. The reform movement took the name of the abbey and became renowned as an order.

The abbey did not escape the general fate of religious houses under the French Revolution. Pursuant to the decree of 13 February 1790 against the religious orders of France, the abbey was suppressed. Some of the monks were martyred. Others, under the then-abbot, Dom Augustin de Lestrange, went into exile, initially at La Valsainte Charterhouse in Switzerland. The French government sold the abbey as national property. Dom Augustin purchased the property in 1815. When the community returned, the brothers found the premises in a ruinous state. They had to rebuild the monastery in its entirety. The new church was consecrated on 30 August 1832.

The abbey's reputation as a place of retreat continued. It attracted both the Count of Artois, afterwards Charles X and Louis Philippe in 1847. In 1880 the Trappists were expelled under French laws against religious institutions, but after a couple of years, they were able to return. The monastery was entirely rebuilt and the new church was consecrated in 1895.

The Neo-Gothic abbey buildings are still occupied by the Trappist community. La Trappe Abbey directly supervises four other Trappist houses.

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Details

Founded: 1122
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Domaine Des Anges Noirs (10 months ago)
Je vais souvent à l épicerie de l Abbaye qui est très belle acheter du miel on y trouve des médailles, savons, parfums, Bougies, Baume du Tigre pour nuque et épaules, des gâteaux délicieux, de l'eau de source et un beau lac en face etc....
quaesitor Dei (11 months ago)
Laissez-vous transporter par ce lieu. Si vous avez besoin de prendre du recul avec la société, si vous vous posez des questions sur l'existence, si vous avez besoin de faire le point de votre vie, entrez dans les murs de cette abbaye pour quelques jours. Une hôtellerie est à la disposition du public. Vous serez accueilli par les moines cisterciens de la stricte observance. Si vous avez un doute sur votre spiritualité ou bien que vous soyez athée, vous pourrez rencontrer le Dieu des chrétiens. Lorsque que vous entrerez dans ces murs hors du monde , vous serrez comme portez par l'esprit de ces hommes qui vivent et ont vécu en ce lieu. Il y a à votre disposition un magasin où vous trouverez toutes sortes de choses : livrés, objets religieux, un grand choix d'aliments confectionner dans cette abbaye ou d'autres à travers le monde. Tout est conçu pour recevoir des personnes valides ou non valides. Prenez une pause dans votre vie. Allez à la Source pour regarder la vie différemment.
Eve Reffard (11 months ago)
Endroit sympa au milieu de nul part. Il y a une boutique qui vend des produits bio et artisanaux. Elle n est pas ouverte tous les jours. il y a des étangs aux alentours où l on peut pique niquer. Pour qui aime la nature, c est le endroit rêvé. J' y retournerai.
Gérard Denos (14 months ago)
recommandé par un Ami, nous avons voulu aller voir cette abbaye. Nous avons fait 220 kms A/R pour trouver porte close. Nous demandions seulement entrer dans la cour intérieure afin de voir l'architecture. Dans le sermon des religieux la société doit partager, mais eux dès qu'ils ont quelque chose ils ne partagent pas. Par contre, le magasin est ouvert très certainement ce qui les fait vivre. Mais ce genre de produits nous les avons au pied de notre porte, alors un conseil N' Y ALLEZ PAS
Grg D (15 months ago)
Superbe endroit! Un petit magasin de produits monastiques. Et de merveilleuses ballades tout autour du site.
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