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Abbey of Fontevraud

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Western Loire, France.

  • Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
  • Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
  • Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
  • Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
  • Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
  • Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
  • Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
Photo of Abbey of Fontevraud
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Beautiful, yes, but more importantly historically significant: This is where the Plantagenet kings and queens of England really came from, and some of their number, and their predecessors, of the noble French Angevin dynasty, are buried in this abbey and on its grounds. One of the first celebrity burials was that of Henry II, who was also Comte d'Anjou and duc de Normandy, followed by his wife, Eleanor and son Richard the Lionheart. These three and a later English queen lie together under the arching nave of the abbey, under tombs carved with their effigies like those in Westminster, but this time with the original colours still clinging to the stone.

The Fontevraud Order was begun in 1099, and its buildings, completed between 1110 and 1119, included several buildings offering protection for different groups, including lepers, sick, fallen women as well as nuns and monks, but from the offset the order and it's abbeys and monasteries was used as a refuge for the daughters of noble families, including ruling ones.

By the time of Napoleon's rule it was being used as a prison, and was decimated, but it's been returned to its former glory and is now popular with visitors with a penchant for historical intrigues, conspiracy theorists and appreciators of beautiful religious architecture. Part of the conspiracy is where the royal remains reside – they're not where they're supposed to be and there are contradicting stories about them being destroyed during the revolution and hidden in a secret location within the abbey.

The garden is one of the most beautiful in this region – which is saying quite a lot.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Does anyone know about bus time table from Saumur to abbey of Fontevraud, Please Thank you.

Will there be taxis from the train station to the Abbey.

Going to Paris in April 2011, which train do I need to take to get to Fontevraud.

1 Reply

The train going to Saumur. There are buses but probably taxis also. Obviously this is now April 2011 should be the same though.

Thank you, just got back from 2 weeks in England and Scotland with my daughter, so it will be next September before we can make another trip, thank you for all info. Nena Butler, Hot Spring, Arkansas, USA

Thank you, does the train go to the Abbey, or do you have to go by taxi? Also do you know the hours that the Abbey is open?

2 Replies

1 April to 31 May : 10 to 5:30 pm

1 June to 30 September : 9 to 6 pm

1 to 31 October : 10-5:30 pm

2 November to 31 March : 10-5 pm

Not aware that there's a train out to the abbey. There are probably guided trips out of town that include transport.

How do you get from Paris to Fontevraud. Train or bus.

How do you get from Paris to Fontevraud, and what hours is the Abbey open. Thank you.

1 Reply

It's 13km southeast of Saumur, which you can get to easily by train from Paris.

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