/ / Abbey of Clervaux: photo, description Abbaye de Clairvaux)

Abbey of Clervaux: photo, description Abbaye de Clairvaux)

The former monastery - the Cistercian Abbey in Clairvaux - today is a prison. In such an institution it was converted in the days of Napoleon, although it was once influential and powerful monastery.

The founder of the monastery became known in the Middle ages, theologian and preacher Bernard of Clairvaux, after the death of canonized saints. Under the supervision of the Abbot-founder of the Abbey of Clervaux has managed to become a major landowner and establish a six and a half dozen subsidiary monasteries.

In the ensemble of the Abbey, you can see buildings from different centuries, but all of them are located around the cloister. The patio with the female courtyard was built in the XVIII century. One of the first buildings related to the period of Foundation of the monastery (the beginning of XII century), is a two-storey building for novices to the bedrooms and pantry, dated XVI century monastic granary.

One of the main treasures of the monastery were extensive religious library, which included 40 thousand volumes. Miraculously she survived during the great French revolution and is now kept in the library of Troyes, located 70 kilometres from Clervaux. This library is considered the largest in France, a collection of ancient manuscripts. Most valuable in this collection is the six-volume handwritten Bible with illustrations (XII century), which belonged to the Saint Bernard.

Into the early nineteenth century in prison, also the largest in the country, the Abbey became a place of confinement for deserters and convicted for political reasons. Among the prisoners was the anarchist from Russia - Prince Peter Kropotkin. Due to the fact that criminals are in some areas of the Abbey and now a guided tour of the monastery accompanied by a quite understandable precaution - a requirement to present ID and a ban on the use of mobile communications, photo and video.

The walls of the Abbey before the transformation to prison for a short time housed a glass factory.