Royal Abbey of Fontevraud is one of the 19 cultural and heritage “ambassador” sites in the Loire Valley and is one of the most popular sites in the region for visitors.
With a programme of multi cultural events, digital innovations, a gourmet restaurant run by Thibaut Ruggeri, a Bocuse d’Or chef with 1 star in the Michelin guide, and a hotel whose design has won numerous international awards, the Abbey invites the visitor to appreciate its exceptional heritage.
Founded in 1101 on the intersecting borders of three regions, Anjou, Touraine and Poitou, the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud is the largest surviving monastic complex from the Middle Ages. Three of the four original monasteries still exist: Sainte-Marie, Marie-Madeleine and Saint- Lazare. Only Saint-Jean de l’Habit was demolished after the French Revolution. The Abbey owes its power to the Plantagenets and to its close links to Eleanor of Aquitaine. The recumbent effigy of this lady, who was Queen of France and then Queen of England, still has pride of place in the heart of the Abbey church, alongside those of Henry II and Richard the Lionheart.
The Abbey was both a monastery and a convent, run by an Abbess. Dear to the Kings, for seven centuries it welcomed nobles with royal blood until the Revolution chased out the Monks and Nuns. In 1804, Napoleon the 1st converted Fontevraud into one of the most brutal prisons in France, a role it was to keep until 1963.
In 2000 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Loire Valley and today the Abbey of Fontevraud continues to embody the vision of an «ideal city» of its founder, Robert of Arbrissel. The 30 acre site welcomes a daily flow of visitors, artists in residence and conference delegates.
Living heritage is the heritage that the broadest public wants to visit, explore and simply share; it is heritage in which we can all create and learn; dance and laugh. In a word, live. The abundance and wealth of activities on offer at Fontevraud provide so many opportunities for visiting and revisiting, for different reasons and purposes, each time refining and enhancing our intimate knowledge of the venue.
The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud today offers services in five distinct spheres: Royal Abbey + La Scène + Hotel + Restaurant + Events & congress. With passion and commitment, we hope to share with you some of the magic of the Royal Abbey.
Event & International Tourism Manager
+33(0)2 41 53 38 35
Fontevraud Royal Abbey – http://www.fontevraud.fr/en/