Serrabone Priory

Boule-d'Amont, France

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


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Philip Varley (3 years ago)
A truly beautiful place - amazing architecture!
Dani Valverde (3 years ago)
Unfortunately, it was under restoration so I couldn't visit it properly.
Giuseppe Mennella (4 years ago)
The priory is located in a wild and beautiful area sorroundeb by woods and aspres mount chain, so close from Mont Canigou. Many part of monatery is buit with schist stones
Peter Goldsworthy (4 years ago)
Simple ancient priory with beautiful carvings in striking red marble by, I think, the unknown Master of Cabestany. Pretty, well-kept grounds of botanical gardens. Various short walks, with plentiful benches, around the hillside affording some pleasant panoramic views and cosy arbours. The cashier in the basic shop would not take cards (perhaps constrained by nominative determinism). The route is around 20 minutes from the main road. Steep hills and sharp bends with few passing places, rockfalls and supremely confident local drivers add to the excitement of the natural geography.
Alexei Mironov (4 years ago)
Small but nice. Ca 20 minutes to visit. Careful if you suffer trom motion sickness - road is quite winding.
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