Just a few miles away from Montsoreau and Campsite l’Isle Verte, you shouldn’t miss the visit of the Fontevraud Abbey. Built during the 12th century, this is the biggest monastic place in Europe still in shape. In this Plantagenêt family necropolis lie the queen Alienor d’Aquitaine but also king Richard Lionsheart. Since 2000, this abbey has been put on the UNESCO world heritage list.

A royal Necropolis near Saumur

On 13 hectares, you can visit somptuous buildings of blond stones. In middle-ages, they were hosting an original monastic community. Run by an abbess this community was made of both men and women. The counts of Anjou loved this abbey, especially Henri II plantagenêt and his wife Alenor d’Aquitaine who decided to make Fontevraud a royal necropolis. ¨Partly destroyed during the French revolution, it was transformed into a jailhouse by Napoléon. At this time it had the reputation to be one of the toughest of France. It stayed this way until 1963 ! Fortunately, the abbey was then given back to the public after some restoration works. These works are not yet finished today. Nowadays, this beautiful building can be visited and hosts frequently exhibitions or cultural events such as concerts. When you visit it, take the time to visit its differents parts from the church to the dining hall with its inverted hull shaped roofing.

Visit the village of Fontevraud

By the abbey, don’t miss the chance to have a walk in the small but pretty village of Fontevraud. Its main square, with a fountain in the middle, is a pleasant place to sit and have drink on the terrasse of café or restaurant.

For more informations visit the website of the Fontevraud Abbey.