Cholet, near Angers, known as the ‘ville des mouchoirs’ (city of handkerchief...
The Abbey of Fontevraud is one of Europe’s greatest monastic centres.
Located at the border of the Anjou, Touraine and Poitou regions, it has witnessed numerous power struggles over seven centuries. The most powerful abbey in France on the eve of the Revolution, it was spared destruction in 1804 when it became a prison until 1963!
Fontevraud Abbey's sheer scale and the diversity of its architecture, fashioned over the centuries (12th to 20th), is amazing. While wandering through the cloisters, dormitories and Roman kitchens, you can easily imagine life as lived by the pious monks. The large abbey church houses the tombs of three English Royals: Henri II, Richard the Lionheart and the famed Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Fontevraud Abbey has also become a vibrant cultural and historical centre that hosts concerts, seminars, exhibitions and an outdoor cinema. Its resident artists include many musicians attracted by the site’s exceptional acoustics, scriptwriters and animated film directors.