Fontevraud Abbey – a must-see for history lovers

After a quick first overview of Fontevraud Abbey, to get the lay of the land so to speak, we could finally check in at the Fontevraud l’Hôtel. How fitting then that, once the formalities were out of the way, the sun came out and bathed the abbey in a new light. We decided to postpone our stroll through the village and give the abbey another go, before looking for a place to eat.

the cloister garden with the kitchen in the back @Fontevraud Abbey

looking out into the cloistered court @Fontevraud Abbey

even today a place where to relax @Fontevraud Abbey

almost empty cloistered court @Fontevraud Abbey

hotel garden @Fontevraud Abbey

Eleanor and Henry II @Fontevraud Abbey

extensive gardens and lawns @Fontevraud Abbey

Eventually we sauntered out of the abbey grounds and started to explore the village. Fontevraud was full of flowers, especially roses. Rain threatened again and the wind had picked up, so the rose leaves were dancing in the air.

exploring the village @Fontevraud

Dinner was a rather uninspired affair at Le Délice, and despite the name not a delight. A place you most certainly need to avoid when in Fontevraud. Personally I think we had the worst food from our trip here.

Still, after dinner we needed to walk off the calories and did so with a forest stroll, trying to find a viewpoint on the abbey from higher up. The sun was setting rather late, so we could walk uphill for about 15 minutes. Alas, with no success. Upon giving up and turning around, we found a great view point a little lower.

looking down on the abbey @Fontevraud Abbey

When we returned to the abbey we had it basically to ourselves. All day tourists had left and most of the other ‘history nerds’ were still at dinner. So we decided to use the time wisely and go see the graves again while we were alone, and only after that go for a nightcap.

entrance to the church @Fontevraud Abbey

an empty church @Fontevraud Abbey

the reason for our visit @Fontevraud Abbey

The Abbey Fontevraud Abbey  looked amazing in twilight, even the sky gave us a dramatic display.

the abbey from the back @Fontevraud Abbey

But you know after our nightcap we meandered once again on abbey grounds and soaked up the atmosphere. The cloistered grounds looked almost haunting and totally different.

the abbey at night @Fontevraud Abbey

all forlorn after dark @Fontevraud Abbey

Because I am a super nerd (and am not afraid to admit it here) I got up real early the next day to pay the graves another visit. Unfortunately the doors of the church stay closed until the first day visitors enter the abbey grounds. But the morning light bathed the abbey and its ground again in another light. I loved it so much that I took some more pictures.

sunrise over the abbey garden @Fontevraud Abbey

Fontevraud Abbey in morning light @Fontevraud Abbey

sunlight streaming in the scriptorium @Fontevraud Abbey

nobody around @Fontevraud Abbey

a last look inside the church @Fontevraud Abbey

I know this post was probably a bit much for most of you and you might even think that all these pictures look the same to you. But being at the Fontevraud Abbey was one of the most amazing experiences ever. History permeates these grounds and buildings and comes alive all around you. If you ever get a chance to visit Fontevraud Abbey, I can only urge you to do so.

Since we didn’t want to breakfast at the hotel, we got coffee and some Viennoiseries from the local bakery and ate looking at the vegetable garden. Getting away from Fontevraud was difficult, without going back to Saumur. But going forward was the theme, so we ordered a taxi and drove on. Yours, Pollybert

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