The Abbey of Fontfroide... a must see!

To the south-west of Narbonne, in a rocky valley of the Corbières, lies this sumptuous Cistercian complex at the bottom of the valley.
The abbey is nestled in the heart of a typically Mediterranean landscape dominated by cypress, pine and boxwood.

The origins of the abbey date back to the end of the 11th century.
Having first adopted the Benedictine rule, Fontfroide became affiliated in the middle of the 12th century to the order of Cîteaux.
The establishment soon received an immense land heritage that extended as far as Catalonia. Thus, by the beginning of the 13th century, Fontfroide had swarmed eight abbeys.

During the crusade against the Albigensians, Fontfroide asserted itself as a bastion of Catholic orthodoxy against Catharism, which it vigorously fought against.
Two monks of Fontfroide particularly distinguished themselves: Pierre de Castelnau and Raoul were appointed legates by Innocent III. 

Among the famous abbots, we should also mention Jacques Fournier who became Pope under the name of Benedict XII (1334-1342).
After a period of decline, Fontfroide fell into decline from 1476 to 1764, when the abbey lost its abbot's title and the related revenues.

In the 18th century, the monastery priors carried out numerous improvements before the establishment was put up for auction in 1791.
Its buildings, relatively preserved during the Revolution, were reoccupied by the Cistercians of the Immaculate Conception from 1858 to 1901.
Since 1908, the monument has belonged to the same family to whom we owe the general rehabilitation of Fontfroide.


The gardens of Fontfroide

The Roseraie and the gardens classified as "Remarkable Gardens" offer a wonderful bucolic stroll between the paths of roses and small paths.


Animations and events

Numerous events are organised every year in the abbey: Festival of Plants and the Massif in May, Old trades of yesteryear in June, Sound and Light, "Fontfroide la nuit", in July and August in particular.

Numerous visits are also proposed such as "epic visit", "the secrets of Fontfroide", "The Gardens of Fontfroide", "Light on the stained glass windows of Fontfroide" or the "visit of the private apartments".

Finally, a restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine, a shop and a range of wines from the abbey complete the attraction of such a site.

Finally, it should be noted that the Abbey of Fontfroide has hosted many film shoots such as 'Bad Faith' in the Mongeville series, in 1994 "La couleur du mensonge", in 2004 "l'Abbaye du Revoir", in 2006 "La blonde au bois dormant", in 2009 "Je, François Villon", in 2009 "Rabelais", in 2010 "Clip vidéo d'ERA", in 2010 "Le moine" and in 2011 "Inquisito". 


Abbaye de Fontfroide
RD 613, Chem. de Fontfroide,
11100 Narbonne
Phone : 04 68 45 50 71


To go further....

Ancienne abbaye cistercienne de Fontfroide

Fontfroide. une Abbaye Cistercienne en Pays Cathare

Au pied du massif des Corbières, Fontfroide constitue aujourd'hui l'une des abbayes cisterciennes les mieux conservées du sud de la France. Son architecture apparaît comme un art de transition entre le roman et le gothique, associant la tradition romane méridionale aux nouveautés, en matière de voûtement notamment, introduites par les bâtisseurs cisterciens. Précieusement entretenue par ses propriétaires, Fontfroide a su traverser les époques et les événements... Son église abbatiale, conforme aux préceptes de Saint Bernard, sa salle capitulaire aux colonnetes centrales élancées, son cloître, à l'atmosphère hors du temps qui invite à la méditation, sont autant de joyaux d'architecture, le tout niché dans un écrin de nature entre garrigue et jardins à l'italienne...
Recherches historiques sur l'abbaye de Fontfroide: dans les archives départementales de l'Aude et les archives hospitalières de Narbonne

Recherches historiques sur l'abbaye de Fontfroide dans les archives départementales de l'Aude et les archives hospitalières de Narbonne / par M. Hippolyte Faure,...
Date de l'édition originale : 1894
Complies Cisterciennes À l'Abbaye de Fontfroide

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