Flaran Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey located in Valence-sur-Baïse. The abbey was founded in 1151, as a daughter house of Escaladieu Abbey, at the confluence of the Auloue and Baïserivers, between the towns of Condom and Auch. The abbey was founded by Burgundian monks and today represents one of the best preserved abbeys in the south-west of France.

After its foundation, Flaran Abbey experienced rapid growth. In the middle of the 13th century, the abbey, jointly with Gerald V, Count of Armagnac, founded the fortified town of Valence-sur-Baïse on a hillside on the other side of the Baïse river.

The abbey did not escape the vicissitudes of history, beginning with the Hundred Years' War, which ended with the Plantagenet county of Gascony being realigned with France. Engulfed by fire during the French Wars of Religion, the abbey was restored by subsequent abbots, but was suppressed and sold off during the French Revolution.

In 1913, the Archaeological Society of Gers intervened so that the abbey would not end up in the architectural collection of George Grey Barnard that resulted in The Cloisters museum in New York City.

The site was purchased by the department of Gers in 1972 and underwent an intense restoration project; it is now the site of numerous cultural activities. The site houses a permanent exhibition on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, the Way of St. James.



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Founded: 1151
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Birth of Capetian dynasty (France)

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User Reviews

Gareth Edwards (4 months ago)
Three different experiences in one location. A superb abbey that has been lovingly restored to its original state. An art gallery with an fantastic and eclectic variety of paintings and sculptures from the likes of Dali, Rodin and Brossard. And finally a beautiful potager garden with a variety of herbs and vegetables. A lovely place to visit.
Daniel Sharpe (8 months ago)
A very relaxing and interesting place to go and spend a few hours learning some new history and looking around the Abbey and Gardens. There is art on display too which is nice to view in a relaxed environment. No coffee shop but there is shaded parking under the trees if you can so nice for a picnic. It is 15 kilometers from Condom and also the same from Montréal if you want a nice Café au lait!
James Cook (8 months ago)
This was an amazing surprise. Not only is the setting beautiful, but there are art pieces on display that you would more expect to see in the Louvre or some other high-profile art museum; but, without any crowd. This is a very worthwhile visit.
Florent Chemin (2 years ago)
Very pretty abbey with a large church but it's a shame to have put paintings, which are really not appropriate in such a place.
Julian Tinayre-Blom (2 years ago)
A beautiful Abbey with the most unexpected and fantastic art collection. The abbatial church has the most fantastic acoustics and the gardens are lovely. A great day out for all the family!
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