The Abbey of Montmajour , Arles , Architecture, Monuments, Museum Provence Attractions

The Abbey of Montmajour
Address - Route de Fontvieille - 13200
Type - Architecture, Monuments, Museum
The Abbey of Montmajour, whose name sounds like music, is located near the historic town of Arles.

Powerful constructions of the abbey' buildings are very similar to the fortress, to the same time the monastery was fenced with impressive walls in the XIV century. They were built to hired soldiers could not penetrate the Benedictine monastery. (However, two centuries later, the monks still were expelled from the monastery walls for some time. They had to seek refuge in Arles). The plot of land where the monastery was built by Benedictine monks, one great lady whose name the history, alas, had not preserved, donated to its majesty of Monastic Order.

Abbaye de Montmajour, ProvenceTo start construction, the monks had to drain of swamps before. The monastery began to build in the 948 year.
 
In the Middle Ages, people from across Europe gathered in The Abbey of Montmajour, pilgrims came here for «absolution». Of course, the Benedictine Order received generous donations from those who want to atone for sins. (As a result by the end of the X century Montmajourbecame one of the richest abbeys in Provence, holding a «rank» until the XVIII century). Also, since the XI century almost all the counts of Provence were buried in the monastery crypt.
 
Cardinal de Rohan was the last of the abbots in The Abbey of Montmajour (in the 2nd half of the XVIII century). He is known as figurant of scandal over the purchase of a precious diamond necklace, ostensibly on behalf of Queen Marie-Antoinette. Subsequently the king punished the Cardinal de Rohan. And the history of fraud where Cardinal involved, Alexandre Dumas described in one of his novels.
 
The monastery harmed during the French Revolution: first it was nationalized and then sold. Nearly a century later, the destroyed and dilapidated monastery has been bought again...
 
Now tourists can see the watch tower with a chapel, buildings in the classical style and some early buildings. It is interesting to examine the «semi-underground» of the Chapel of Saint-Pierre, dating back to the founding of the The Abbey of Montmajour.

Church of Our Lady was built a century later. At some distance from it, there is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, built for pilgrims in the XII century.
 
Nowadays The Abbey of Montmajour got the status of historical monuments, protected by UNESCO. The visitors of the Abbey can also enjoy the art gallery where the exhibitions of paintings by famous artists are held, including Van Gogh.

Map - The Abbey of Montmajour

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