Abbaye de Fontevraud
The Abbey was founded on this site in 1101, and was originally for both men and
It was founded by the hermit Robert d'Arbrissel.
The Abbaye was always for the rich, and for nearly seven hundred years it was
governed by an abbess who came from the aristocracy. Over half the abbesses were
of royal birth.
No other religious establishment came any where near this prestigious abbaye
housed the monks were hosed in a priory outside the main site, and inside the
walls were four separate communities.
These ranged from rich widows to reformed prostitutes. There was also a hospital
and leper colony on the site.
After the Revolution the buildings were used as a prison, as were many other
The restoration work has been going on since the early 1950's and will continue
for many years to come.
The Abbaye's main claim to fame is that fifteen members of the English royal
family are buried here. King Richard The Lionheart (1157 - 1199) and Henry
Plantagenet (1133 - 1189) are only two of three English Kings not buried in
England. The other being William the Conqueror who is also buried in France at
The most striking feature of the abbaye is the kitchens with many chimneys These
were used to smoke fish and meat as well as prepare the meals for the many
people in the abbaye.