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.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andy Mercer (4 months ago)
Fantastic place to visit. Full of lovely place of medieval history
Paul Tulip (4 months ago)
Beautiful place with really interesting exhibitions of history and art. Loved it.
ntonckens (5 months ago)
Beautiful small abbey. Very nicely restored. Dates back from 1151. Beautiful private art collection. The surroundings and gardens are beautiful. Serenity surrounds the area. Well worth a visit.
James Newton (2 years ago)
Some intriguing masterpiece artwork is exposed here, but it's all a little run down and the garden isn't kept. The actual church is the most interesting piece of architecture, though it is completely bare and has no stained glass windows. For the 5€, it's worth the visit.
James Newton (2 years ago)
Some intriguing masterpiece artwork is exposed here, but it's all a little run down and the garden isn't kept. The actual church is the most interesting piece of architecture, though it is completely bare and has no stained glass windows. For the 5€, it's worth the visit.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Arles Amphitheatre

The two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheatre was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting as well as plays and concerts in summer.

The building measures 136 m in length and 109 m wide, and features 120 arches. It has an oval arena surrounded by terraces, arcades on two levels (60 in all), bleachers, a system of galleries, drainage system in many corridors of access and staircases for a quick exit from the crowd. It was obviously inspired by the Colosseum in Rome (in 72-80), being built slightly later (in 90).

With the fall of the Empire in the 5th century, the amphitheatre became a shelter for the population and was transformed into a fortress with four towers (the southern tower is not restored). The structure encircled more than 200 houses, becoming a real town, with its public square built in the centre of the arena and two chapels, one in the centre of the building, and another one at the base of the west tower.

This new residential role continued until the late 18th century, and in 1825 through the initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée, the change to national historical monument began. In 1826, expropriation began of the houses built within the building, which ended by 1830 when the first event was organized in the arena - a race of the bulls to celebrate the taking of Algiers.

Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other Roman buildings of the city, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.