Saint-Michel Abbey

Gaillac, France

The Abbey Saint-Michel is intimately tied to the origins of Gaillac, a silent witness to the town’s long history.

In 972 AD the Bishop of Albi handed some land to a group of Benedictine monks, instructing them to found an abbey there. These monks also set about the business of winegrowing – with great success, it must be said – which contributed to Gaillac’s economic development and to the town’s burgeoning reputation both in France and further afield across Europe.

 Gaillac managed to avoid destruction at the hands of the Albi Crusaders. But the town was not entirely spared by the 100 Years War, or the French Religious Wars. It was the wine trade that brought about Gaillac’s regeneration. The abbey was rebuilt in the 16th and 17th centuries before the French Revolution of 1789 finally sounded the death knell for its role as a religious building.

The Abbey Saint-Michel is open to visitors every day. If you want an amazing view of the Abbey rising up from the River Tarn, just take a short walk onto the Saint-Michel bridge and look back. The red brick and ochre tones of the building are symbolic of the town of Gaillac, and they blend beautifully with the colours of the sunset. In its vaulted cellars that were once used to store wine barrels, the museum retraces the history and traditions of Gaillac, its wines and vineyards, and its Abbey from Gallo-Roman times to the current day.

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Details

Founded: 972 AD
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Frankish kingdoms (France)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

D.Dilek Arnhold (14 months ago)
Beautiful outstanding but inside is empty... It s so sad but whole village needs a real renovation...
mountain olive (17 months ago)
Wow wow a very diferent cathedral
Gulnisa Coskun (17 months ago)
it is open until 6 pm for wine tasting every week it has different local wines of 6 types, place is very nice to visit and staff are English speakers and very kind
Jon Prideaux (3 years ago)
Old church. Undergoing renovations at the moment. Inside a bit gloomy. Pulpit is great
Malcolm Evans (3 years ago)
In the middle of renovation so a lot of work going on. Otherwise the Abbey is stunning, actually built of red brick. Some marvellous statues and the lectern is wonderful.
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