The Abbey of Villelongue, eight hundred years of eventful history

In the hollow of the Vernassonne valley, three kilometers from the town of Saint-Martin-Le-Viel, this ancient Cistercian abbey seduces by its confidential and family character.

The monastery was first established on the territory of the neighboring town of Saissac before being transferred to its present location in the middle of the 12th century.
The construction of the monastery began in 1180.

At the beginning of the 13th century, Simon de Montfort rewarded the monks of Villelongue for their stand against the Cathars.
He gave them a lot of land and the village of Saint-Martin.
Villelongue became a powerful and wealthy abbey.
Later, it enjoyed the protection of the king of France.

Weakened by the plague in the 14th century and then by internal struggles in the 15th century, the abbey began to decline gradually until the Revolution when it was sold as a national asset and transformed into a farm.
The estate was then divided into two parts: on one side the ruins of the abbey, on the other a group of houses, probably the former abbey dwelling.

From 1916 onwards, the successive owners tried to bring the abbey out of oblivion and began the most urgent work.
In 1916, Colonel Maissiat obtained the classification of the Abbey as a Historic Monument, thus preventing the sale and dismantling of the south gallery of the cloister.

In 1964, it was acquired by the Eloffe family who still own it today.


Villelongue Abbey
11170 Saint-Martel-le-Viel
Tel/fax : 04 68 24 90 38



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