©D.Darrault - FONTEVRAUD ABBEY ©D.Darrault - FONTEVRAUD ABBEY ©S.Bonniol/Visuelles - FONTEVRAUD ABBEY ©S.Bonniol/Visuelles - FONTEVRAUD ABBEY ©D.Darrault - FONTEVRAUD ABBEY ©D.Darrault - FONTEVRAUD ABBEY
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD
ABBEY OF FONTEVRAUD

A monastic city

Monastic life at the Abbey of Fontevraud was based on spiritual life: prayer (ora), work (labora) and community life. 

The Grand-Moûtier cloisters
A place for a gentle stroll, around which monastic life is organised: to the north is the church; to the east the sacristy and the chapter house; to the south, the refectory, and to the west, the lodgings. These cloisters were reconstructed in the 16th century and the penitentiary galleries were added in the 19th century.

Monastic life around the cloisters

The chapter house
This is the room in which the different chapters would be held as well as other ceremonies. It was rebuilt in the 16th century, and its walls (painted in 1563) were later covered when it became a prison.

The warming-room
Needlework took place in the warming-room, the only area in the Abbey with heating.

The dormitories
A fine one-flight Renaissance staircase, dating mainly from the 16th century, leads to the three dormitories.

Labora, the nuns’ work

Saint-Benoit infirmaries
Built in the 12th century (then rebuilt around 1600), the infirmaries originally formed the main courtyard of the Abbey. This is where the nuns would end their days.

Romanesque kitchens
Baptistry, lantern for the dead, or a church? The exact use of this 12th century building remained uncertain for a very long time. It is now clear that it used to be the kitchens.

The gardens
Similar to a large number of monasteries, Fontevraud was surrounded by gardens where each space was reserved for a special function: the utilitarian kitchen garden, the cemetery orchard, and the medicinal-herb garden.

To find out more about the Abbey of Fontevraud >>