The Abbey of Thoronet, "wonder" of the Cistercian abbeys

Built between 1160 and 1230, the abbey of Thoronet is, with those of Silvacane and Sénanque, one of the three Cistercian abbeys of Provence.

The abbey was in danger of disappearing when Prosper Mérimée discovered it and brought it to the attention of Revoil, the architect of historical monuments at the time, who restored it in 1873. This restoration was taken up again by his successor Formigé after 1907 and has not stopped since.
Its architecture and acoustics are unique in France.

 

An example for contemporary architecture

The purity and simplicity of the volumes, essentially dictated by the organization of community life, has inspired generations of architects.

When Le Corbusier visited the site in 1953, he couldn't help but declare: "In the age of 'raw concrete', blessed, welcome and saluted be, along the way, such an admirable encounter. Each element of the building is here a creative value of architecture... The whole as well as the detail are one. The stone is a friend of man..."

Hidden in the heart of the forests of Provence, the Abbey of Thoronet offers an amazing vision of life in a Cistercian monastery in the Middle Ages. "It has preserved, within its walls, monumental doorways, vestiges of the guesthouse, courtyards and gardens enclosed by low walls. At the center of this "city", the church and the cloister are true masterpieces of Romanesque architecture.


Thanks to its exceptional acoustics, every summer the medieval music festival "Les Rencontres de musique médiévale" takes place there, contributing to its development and to the promotion of the abbey.

 

Thoronet Abbey

83340 Le Thoronet

Tel : 04 94 60 43 90

http://www.le-thoronet.fr/#

 

 

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To go further....

L'Abbaye du Thoronet

Cachée au cour d'un vallon verdoyant, l'abbaye du Thoronet offre une vision saisissante, assez proche de ce qu'était un monastère cistercien au Moyen Âge. Elle a conservé, en effet, à l'intérieur de son enceinte, certaines installations liées à la vie quotidienne des moines blancs : porterie monumentale, vestiges de l'hôtellerie, cours et jardins clos de murets. Au centre de cette "cité", l'église, d'une grande pureté de lignes, et le cloître, d'une élégance rude et austère, constituent des chefs-d'ouvre d'architecture.
L Abbaye du Thoronet

L'Abbaye du Thoronet, la mesure de la perfection

La beauté de l'abbaye du Thoronet n'a rien d'intemporel : elle est enracinée dans les convictions du XIIe siècle dont elle tire toute sa force Mais elle n'a pas traversé les siècles indemne Elle est aussi devenue en partie l'oeuvre de ceux qui en recevant pour charge de la restaurer depuis 1840 s'en sont emparé et ont conçu pour elle une seconde vie Ce livre raconte les mésaventures anciennes et récentes du Thoronet et examine les traces plus ou moins apparentes qu'elles ont laissées - dont certaines sont inattendues et même incongrues Elles ne déprécient en rien l'exceptionnelle qualité de son architecture et sont même indispensables pour en discerner les principes

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