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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Details

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jordi Boixadós (7 months ago)
Nice monument you can evoque thecway of living of a small prieure right in the Middle of the Mountains. Beautyfull and interesting. Even if the road was uncomfortable with planta of curves we fully recommend it
Dorien Bot (11 months ago)
Beautiful landmark, the route is also breathtaking. All in all a great road trip destination.
Christian Gillet (11 months ago)
Nice place in a quite remote location. Full of 1000y+ history. It’s a small jewel of the Middle Ages
Sarah Masters (14 months ago)
Fabulous piece of Roman Art History. A wonderful guide, thoughtful and inspiring. An absolute must.
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