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A view of the centre court of the Abbey, one of the largest and best preserved medieval abbeys in France. Located near Chinon, the abbey was built in the period ending in 1119 and served as a double monastery, with both nuns and monks living on the same site. The leader of the Fontevrist order, which became international, was traditionally a woman, and the monastery continued in operation until 1792, when the Revolutionary Committee ordered the evacuation of all monasteries.

The abbey became a prison from 1804 to 1963, in which latter year the government continued with restoration work begun in 1906 with the renovation of the Abbey-Church. The effigies of Henry II and Richard I of England, together with Eleanor of Acquitaine, can be viewed in the main part of the church, all of whom are buried here. Eleanor even served for a time as a nun here. This is an inspiring, peaceful place, and I was fortunate enough to visit when there was a choir practise of some sort in progress, which included even some medieval chanting. Amazing ambience.

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Additional Photos by John Cherrington (john_c) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4079 W: 52 N: 5746] (24666)
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