The architectural heritage of Fontevraud Abbey, an important economic asset for Atlantic France

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Near Saumur in the Loire Valley, in the Atlantic France region, the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud has fulfilled many different purposes. It was first a double monastery where monks and nuns were cohabiting before it was transformed into a prison by Napoleon in 1804. It is now a cultural and business center that attracts visitors from all over the world.

Founded in 1101 by the preacher and monk Robert d’Arbrissel, the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud located in the Loire Valley is one of the best known abbeys in France. The monument is now a multi-faceted cultural hub that includes a hotel, a restaurant and a modern art museum. 

A multi-faceted monument listed as a UNESCO world-heritage site

Since 1975, the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud has been open to the public. Part of the Loire Valley’s classification as a UNESCO World-Heritage Site, the monument is one of the most visited in the Atlantic France region. 

The abbey attracts around 200,000 visitors a year. They are not only able to visit the site, they can also enjoy it in many different ways. The regional council has focused on increasing the dynamism and the visibility of the site by offering a wide range of social and cultural activities: a museum, a cultural venue, a hotel, a restaurant and a conference & events center. 

Opening of a new modern art museum at Fontevraud

Besides the hotel and the Michelin-starred restaurant lead by Chef Thibaut Ruggeri, the Abbey also offers conference and events rooms for all kinds of gatherings such as business events. 

On May 19th, after months of delays due to Covid-19 restrictions, a new modern art museum was established in the abbey’s former stables. More than 900 works donated by collectors Martine and Léon Cligman are now displayed in the former monastery. 

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