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Notre-Dame-du-Thoronet

In the middle of the Provence, between pines and cicadas, you can find the cistercienne abbey Notre-Dame-du-Thoronet. Built in the pure mind of Romance art in Provence, it should be constructed between the 12th and the middle of the 13th century. Everything was envisaged so that the monks do not need to go out of the surrounding wall of the monastery.


The entrance of the monastery
The entrance of the monastery
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The cloister, broadly opened with a garden in its middle, is conceived in order to act as link between the different parts of the monastery.


The paths of the cloister
The paths of the cloister
(click on the photo to enlarge)
The paths of the cloister
The paths of the cloister
(click on the photo to enlarge)

Adjoining the cloister is the room capitulary of the monastery. It is the place of meeting of the monks. They meet every morning there to read a chapter of the rule of saint Benoît there.It is also in this room that regulated the problems of management of the monastery. They elected there for instance the "father abbot" which would aim the monastery.


The room capitulary and its gothic ogives
The room capitulary and its gothic ogives
(click on the photo to enlarge)

In an end of this splendid cloister, they find the place reserved for the toilet of the monks: the washbowl. Put in the centre of an hexagonal room, the fountain served for the ablution of the monks. It was also used to provide the water necessary for the life of the monastery. This fountain is one in a cistercien monastery of the last still standing.


The hexagonal room sheltering the washbowl
The hexagonal room sheltering the washbowl
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The washbowl
The washbowl
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The washbowl
The washbowl
(click on the photo to enlarge)

In the other end of the cloister, you can see the most important room in the life of a monk: the church. This place of prayers and introversion is, in accordance with the rule cistercienne, without any ornament which could distract the monk in his meditation. This church also has prestigious acoustics which makes a special place for concert.


The church Notre-Dame-du-Thoronet
(click on the photo to enlarge)

The church Notre-Dame-du-Thoronet

The church Notre-Dame-du-Thoronet

The church Notre-Dame-du-Thoronet

This monastery could receive monks' about twenty as well as some dozens convers brothers (nondenominational monks loaded with the domestic service of the community and manual jobs). It is a true haven of peace that is worth the way..






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