/ / Fontevraud Abbey: photos, description (Abbaye de Fontevraud)

Fontevraud Abbey: photos, description (Abbaye de Fontevraud)

Fontevraud Abbey is located in the French Department of Maine and Loire. The Abbey is located in the homonymous village, near the town of Chinon. Founded in the early XII century, between 1110 and 1119 years an itinerant preacher Robert d’ Abdissalam.

Robert d Arbrissel received land in Northern Poitou, thanks to the intercession of the Duchess Philippa of Toulouse, who had persuaded her husband William IX of Aquitaine of the need to establish spiritual communities in the area. Founded in 1100, the monastery was a "double" - both male and female. The Abbey of this type soon spread to England. According to the Testament of Robert d Abesses, to manage this Abbey must have been a woman, he appointed the first Prelate - Petronilla de Chemille. Her successor was Matilda of Anjou, the aunt of the future king of England Henry II Plantagenet.

From that moment began the heyday of the Abbey of Fontevraud - many noble ladies became Abbesses. The Abbey was sheltering patients with leprosy, the repentant sinful woman, homeless and oppressed women. The Plantagenet dynasty, which United under his rule not only England, but also the territory of modern France, including Anjou, became the main patrons of the Abbey, turning it into their ancestral tomb.

In the XIV-XV centuries, Fontevraud Abbey experienced a period of decline in the epidemic of plague and hundred years ' war. In addition, have a negative effect, and the constant interference in the Affairs of the Abbey from the bishops of Poitiers.

But at the end of the XV century, the restoration of the prestige of the Abbey of Fontevraud, when the new abbess - Maria Breton, the aunt of the king of France Louis XII, undertook reforms relating to the order of the Charter that was later approved by Pope Sixtus IV. In the XVI century by the Abbesses were representatives of the Royal house of Bourbon, during the reign of which has been reconstructed many of the buildings of the monastery. Was also built a cloister with a length of 1,300 metres and a gallery leading to the North transept were renovated the other three cloisters, the refectory and the whole East wing of the monastery. The abbess Louise de Bourbon hired a local artist, who painted the Chapter hall of the Abbey with frescoes depicting the passion of Christ. In 1558, flooding affected the hospital of St. Benedict, which was rebuilt in the late XVI century.

In 1637 at Fontevraud Abbey there was a conflict of local monks spoke out against women's control of the monastery. New superior - Jeanne-Baptiste de Bourbon, an illegitimate daughter of the French king Henry IV had to seek the assistance of the Council of State, which was supported by the Prelate. Despite the fact that it has failed to achieve the canonization of the founder of the order, Robert d Arrissala and thus finally to consolidate his position, Jeanne-Baptiste de Bourbon was able to resolve religious differences, and the time of her reign is considered the second Golden age in the history of the Abbey.

16 Aug 1670, king Louis XIV chose the new abbess of Fontevraud Abbey - she was the sister of his official mistress, Madame de Montespan, nicknamed the "Queen of Abbesses". During her reign around the Abbey were gardens, continued the construction of the Palace. The new Prelate continued to lead a life of secular ladies, in the monastery often took the Royal family, in 1689 and here lived for a year herself, Madame de Montespan. At the same time, violating all the laws of the monastery, the abbess commanded to deliver to the Abbey's new play the famous French playwright Jean-Baptiste Racine's "Esther."

The monastic order was dissolved during the French revolution. August 17, 1792, came the revolutionary decree requiring all monks and nuns to leave their monasteries. The last abbess died in poverty in Paris in 1797.

In 1804 the Abbey of Fontevraud by decree of Napoleon was transformed into a prison, the first prisoners arrived in 1814. Prison was different inhuman conditions of detention, particularly suffered from political prisoners. During the collaborationist Vichy regime in the prison was shot by many of the participants of the Resistance movement.

In 1963 the building of the Abbey of Fontevraud was transmitted to the French Ministry of culture, restoration works were carried out. In 1985, the Abbey was opened to the public, and finally the work was completed only in 2006.

Fontevraud Abbey is the Shrine of the Plantagenets are buried here, the king and Queen of England Henry II and Alienor of Aquitaine, their children - Richard the Lionheart and John English, her son, count Raymond VII of Toulouse, the wife of king John of England - Isabella of Angouleme. However, their graves were only tombstones, the remains were lost during the plundering of the Abbey by the revolutionaries. Also here were buried the young Princess Teresa, daughter of king Louis XV.