/ / Abbey Montague: photo, description Abbaye de Montmajour)

Abbey Montague: photo, description Abbaye de Montmajour)

To build a few kilometers from Arles, the Abbey of Montague, in the X century Benedictine monks had to drain the local swamps. The land on which the monastery was built, was donated to the order of a noble lady, and in 948 year saw his bookmark.

The monastery was widely known among the pilgrims who came to Montague in order to atone for their sins by making a donation in favor of the order. At the end of X century, the Montague has become one of the richest abbeys of Provence and remained so until the XVIII century. Since the XI century in the crypts of the monastery, found the last refuge of Provencal counts.

Externally, the monastery built on a hill, more like a fortress, so powerful it looked like buildings. In the XIV century appearance of the Abbey was supplemented by impressive walls, designed to protect brothers Benedictines against the encroachments of mercenary soldiers. At the end of the XVIth century, during religious wars, thick walls did not help the monks were evicted soldiers, and the brothers themselves two years lived in Arles.

The last Abbot of the Abbey (the second half of XVIII century) was the cardinal de Rohan a party to the scandalous episode with the purchase of a fabulously expensive diamond necklace on behalf of the Queen Marie-Antoinette, the story of this fraud was described in one of the novels of Alexander Dumas. Himself de Rohan, who wanted to Woo the Queen, was used by speculators and then punished by the king.

During the great French revolution, the Abbey was nationalised and sold. Dilapidated buildings of the monastery were purchased closer to the middle of the next century.

Today in the ensemble of the Abbey you can see a chapel, watchtower, buildings in the classical style and the earlier buildings. By the time of the founding of the Abbey relates the semi-subterranean chapel of Saint-Pierre, a century later was built the Church of the mother of God. Just in the distance is the chapel of St. cross, built in the XII century for pilgrims.

Nowadays, the Abbey is protected by UNESCO as a monument of history. When Abbey located art gallery, in which exhibitions of paintings by van Gogh and other famous painters.