Abbeys in France: history and visitor guides

Photo of French abbeys

The abbeys and cloisters are among the most interesting and beautiful of the historic monuments in France. We have guides for many of the best known, with information about their histories and visitor guides.

Aquitaine

Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure (Gironde)

Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure village

The ruins of the Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure contain some very impressive examples of roman style architecture such as carved capital stones

See Abbey of La Sauve-Majeure guide

Brantome Abbey (Dordogne)

Brantome Abbey village

Brantome Abbey is an impressive abbey with troglodyte caves in the beautiful town of Brantome.

See Brantome Abbey guide

Cadouin abbey (Dordogne)

Cadouin abbey village

Cadouin abbey was built in the 12th century in the roman style

See Cadouin abbey guide

Cadouin abbey cloisters (Dordogne)

Cadouin abbey cloisters village

The cloister attached to the abbey at Cadouin were built in the 15th century and among the most charming in France

See Cadouin abbey cloisters guide

Brittany

Beauport Abbey (Cotes-d'Armor)

Beauport Abbey village

The 13th century abbey at Beauport is a lovely mix of ancient abbey buildings and gardens

See Beauport Abbey guide

Burgundy

Fontenay Abbey (Cote d'Or)

Fontenay Abbey village

The complex of buildings at the Abbey de Fontenay, and the surrounding gardens and woodlands, make this one of our favourite French abbeys

See Fontenay Abbey guide

Languedoc-Roussillon

Fontfroide Abbey (Aude)

Fontfroide Abbey village

The Abbey at Fontfroide dates from the 12th century, and is one of the most interesting abbeys in the region

See Fontfroide Abbey guide

Loire Valley

Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey (Loiret)

Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey village

Fans of romanesque architecture will appreciate the many period features in the 12th century Abbey of Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire

See Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey guide

Normandy

Jumieges Abbey (Seine-Maritime)

Jumieges Abbey village

The extensive ruins of Jumieges Abbey are one of the most visited religious monuments in the department

See Jumieges Abbey guide

Lessay abbey (Manche)

Lessay abbey village

The abbey church at Lessay is an important example of roman style architecture

See Lessay abbey guide

Pays de la Loire

Fontevraud Abbey (Maine-et-Loire)

Fontevraud Abbey village

The Fontevraud Abbey has a great deal to see: it is one of the largest abbey complexes in France and most visited abbeys in France

See Fontevraud Abbey guide

Maillezais abbey (Vendee)

Maillezais abbey village

The ruins of the Maillezais abbey are on the edge of the marshes of the Marais Poitevin

See Maillezais abbey guide

Picardy

Morienval abbey (Oise)

Morienval abbey village

The Abbey of Notre-Dame at Morienval is an impressive example of Romanesque architecture

See Morienval abbey guide

Ourscamp abbey (Oise)

Ourscamp abbey village

Ourscamp abbey is an abbey in Picardy, now in ruins and surrounded by a park

See Ourscamp abbey guide

Valloires abbey (Somme)

Valloires abbey village

Valloires abbey is an 18th century Cistercian abbey with formal gardens to explore

See Valloires abbey guide

Provence

Abbey of Senanque (Vaucluse)

Abbey of Senanque village

Senanque Abbey is a roman style abbey in Provence surrounded by lavender fields and with many of the 12th century monastic buildings lovingly restored

See Abbey of Senanque guide

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