The Abbey of Fontevraud is located in the Pays de la Loire region. Considered as one of the greatest monastic cities in Europe, and royal necropolis of the Plantagenet dynasty, the Abbey of Fontevraud is impressive both in its size and its originality. Transformed into a prison by Napoleon in 1804, it was saved from destruction and became a dreaded penitentiary centre. The last prisoners did not leave until 1985. Today, as a Centre Culturel de Rencontre (Cultural Encounter Centre, a label from the Ministry of Culture and Communication), the Abbey is a renowned site for concerts, symposiums and exhibitions. It also plays a role in creative development thanks to artists’ residencies that are welcomed by the abbey.


Abbaye de Fontevraud

Royal Abbey

Founded in 1101 by Robert d’Arbrissel, the Abbey of Fontevraud is a monastic city managed by women. The abbesses of royal lineage succeeded one another after Eleanor of Aquitaine spent her last days here. Today, within the abbey church are the recumbent statues of the Plantagenet dynasty: Henri II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lion-heart, and Isabella of Angoulême.

Abbey of Fontevraud

Monastic city

Monastic city from 1101 to 1804, the Abbey of Fontevraud has an architectural style rich in terms of spiritual meaning but also punctuated by the manual activities, part of everyday life here. Enter the secret of monasteries, walk in the footsteps of the nuns, and explore a different world: the mysterious Roman kitchens, the cloisters, the dormitories and the large refectory…



 Abbey of Fontevraud

The central prison of Fontevraud

At the beginning of the 19th century, Napoleon transformed the Abbey of Fontevraud into a prison, saving it from ominous destruction. To the existing wall were added new walls and partitioning, making it more suitable for its new identity. Discover the stones which today still bear signs of a sombre past.

Abbey of Fontevraud

The hidden face of the Abbey

The Abbey of Fontevraud opens its most guarded doors to offer you a whole range of thematic visits off the beaten path that can be shared with the whole family: "The underground passages", "The last days of the Abbey: before the Revolution", "The Central prison " and also "The nuns' daily life".



Rental of different areas, seminars, events, weddings

Get married in a unique place, meet for a workshop or congress, share important moments in an ideal place for a return to the sources... The Abbey of Fontevraud has a variety of rooms available for all events, with capacities ranging from 10 to 800 people.