/ / Lerinskoe Abbey: photos, description Abbaye de Lerins)

Lerinskoe Abbey: photos, description Abbaye de Lerins)

Lerinskoe Abbey, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in Europe, is on the small island of St. Onora opposite Cannes.

In the year 410 on a deserted piece of land landed with a few followers of the hermit and ascetic St. Honorat. Legend has it that he performed here two miracles: destroyed writhing snakes and opened a water source. The community formed around the Saint, and laid the foundations of the Abbey.

In 427 the monastery mentioned as "big". Went here, before proceeding to the evangelization of Ireland, Saint Patrick, here have been many famous bishops. The fourth Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Nazarius, in the reign of Clotaire II (XI-XII century) defeated the remnants of paganism on the Mediterranean coast.

A century later the Saracens, retreating after the defeat at Poitiers, stormed the island and killed five hundred of the monks and destroyed the monastery. Survivors rebuilt it again. In 1047, the Saracens recaptured the island and drove away the monks for sale in Sicily (they were bought by the Abbot of Marseilles, the Abbey of St. Victor).Then began the transformation of the monastery into a fortress. In the XI-XIV centuries there was built a fortified buildings, including the extant powerful tower on the southern headland (that did not stop again to capture the island the Genoese, the Spaniards).

By the end of XVIII century the monastery fell into decay, in 1788, the Royal Commission has closed it "due to the lack of monks." Building during the revolution bought rich comedienne. Until 1859 they were bought back by the Bishop of Fréjus. Since then, the monastery nourished Cistercian monks, hermits and ascetics.

The heart of today's Abbey - "fortified monastery," formed during the XII-XV centuries. Its tower, built no later than 1120. Twelve marble columns were brought from Genoa in 1467. To the North of the main building is the Church of St. Mary, in the XIX century converted into a house. It partly relates to the XI century is a unique monument of Provencal architecture. Surrounding two-storey buildings built in the XIX century.

The island is scattered with seven chapels, four of them are open to the public. The chapel of the Trinity, built no later than the XII century, the chapel Saint-Sauveur built in the era of the Carolingians on the Foundation of still more ancient buildings, and a rocky cliff where stands the chapel of the Holy Carp, he lived as a hermit this companion of St. Honorata.

In the cellars of the Abbey is aged in large barrels of the local wine. The monks work in eight acres of local vineyards, the monastery makes an excellent wine and liquors.

But I seek here not only for wines. Abbey is willing to accept people tired of the hustle and bustle. Every year here even held the "festival of silence": two dozen members of the famous Cannes film festival voluntarily go to the island, to plunge into silence. Cistercian speak only out of necessity (they give such a vow), the silence is only disturbed with the buzzing of bees, chirping of crickets Yes the bell calling to Holy mass.