Serrabone Priory is a former monastery of Canons Regular in the commune of Boule-d'Amont. The priory is located in a wild and beautiful area in the valley of the Boulès in the heart of an oak forest, at the centre of the Aspres mountain range. It is famous for its splendid marble rostrum from the 12th century, regarded as a masterpiece of Romanesque art.

The name of the monastery derives from the Catalan serra bona, meaning 'good mountain'. The original foundation - of which order if any is unclear - on the site took place in the 10th or 11th century and is recorded in a document of 1069. In 1082, under the patronage of the local lords and the Count of Conflent, who gave it property and revenues, it was re-established as an Augustinian priory.

The first church at Serrabone had just one nave with a pointed barrel vault. An extensive transformation took place in the 12th century. A transept and three apses replaced the earlier chevet. The principal apse, protruding on the exterior, is flanked by two absidoles enclosed in the walls. On the north side there is a second nave and a bell tower, on the south side a cloister, and another building containing three rooms.

The thick walls of the nave are built of local schist rubble stone. The second construction was more elaborate and used large blocks of cut schist which were carefully placed.

The sculptures in the cloister, the main portal, the window in the apsidole and the gallery, are all worked in pink marble from the Conflent, which makes a startling contrast to the green-grey of the schist.

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Details

Founded: 10th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Robert (18 months ago)
Fantastic location, very well looked after and very friendly staff. The gardens to wander through are and added bonus, very tranquil.
Tom Hennvall (2 years ago)
Beautiful placed on nearly the top Lovely garden's
Thuy Wotawa (2 years ago)
Absolutely magnificent. Small monastery over 1000 years old overlooking a beautiful valley of pines. The gardens are meticulously kept and I loved meandering through the paths admiring the different fig and olive trees, as well as the medicinal plants. The church itself is small and simple but the carvings on the pink marble columns are unique. Definitely worth the drive and half day visit if you are in the area.
David s (2 years ago)
Lovely. We visited the great garden and trail. Loved the different plants.
Antonio Ca' Zorzi (2 years ago)
Beautiful spot. The church has some very fine chapitels.
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