Saint-Michel de Grandmont Priory

Saint-Privat, France

Saint-Michel de Grandmont Priory was built in the 12th century and is one of the best-preserved of the 160 Grandmontine monasteries. It is a religious order, founded by Étienne of Thiers, son of Viscount of Thiers from the Auvergne. It was known to be one of the strictest, and austere orders of the Middle Ages. There was no hierarchy, with no archives, and no heating. The monks walked with bare feet, in perpetual silence. They ate no meat, and fasted regularly. As they worked, they engaged in silent prayer. Theirs was the first order to be permitted to beg for food.

By 1772 the Grandmontaine Order had dwindled in popularity, and was eventually dissolved, and the Priory was absorbed into the Diocese of Lodève. Two monks remained in the Priory until their deaths in 1785.

After the French revolution, the priory passed into the hands of a local merchant family, who developed it as a home, and agricultural estate. From 1849 to 1936 it was owned by the Vitalis family, who were cloth manufacturers. Etienne Vitalis restored the buildings, making them fit for habitation, and wine production. In 1957 it was bought by the Bec family, who owned a local engineering firm. In 1980 the Priory was classed as a historic monument, and opened its doors to the public.

The Priory of St Michel de Grandmont is the only surviving building from the order of Grandmont. The group of buildings includes a church, a Romanesque cloister surmounted by a pinnacle, and a chapter house and cellar.

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Address

Saint-Privat, France
See all sites in Saint-Privat

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anne heaps di costanzo (10 months ago)
Very interesting site. Beautiful walk. Dogs allowed on leash.
Aaron Ochse (2 years ago)
Wonderful place to visit loaded with history and nature. You will be warmly greeted and can get an audio guide. The priory and nature park are visitable and you can see the Neolithic dolmen plus other carved ritual sites. I saw many interesting birds abs several deer. Don’t miss if you are nearby.
Anne Platt (3 years ago)
Brilliant audio trail describing the vastly different historical aspects of this wonderful site.
Pascal Lenoir (4 years ago)
Very quiet and peaceful historical place. Worth going there if close by.
Pieter (5 years ago)
Not a lot to are. Most of the place is closed down. Hou can Only visite a very small Poetin of the abbey.
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