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A taste of the sweet life

Abbaye Fontfroide in Languedoc Roussillon

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The Abbaye Fontfroide, near Narbonne in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of the South of France, is an amazingly well taken care of historical site.  Open all year long makes even a visit in the winter a magical moment going back in time - whereas summer provides classical musicians who play within the ancient walls.  The tour guides are very informative and give out details freely, talking about the history of the Abbaye and her buildings, churches and gardens.3-abbaye-ff-entryThere is truly too much to say in a short story, so I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. The entry walls, above, gave a drinking fountain to those in need, carved out of stone and built into the wall itself - an amazing animal head dripping water from its mouth into yet another carved basin!

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The interior courtyard was my favorite space...and I could only imagine the roses & greenery that make up this center garden su1-abbaye-ff-pillarsrrounded by many marble carved pillars, each one different than the other, as you can see here. The feet of each pillar also detailed out leaves, grapes and many other amazing carvings. Over time the gardens were used for burials (11th century) and the beautiful Cistercian roses.

 

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The Abbaye church was also impressive with its 23 meter high vaulted ceiling, stained glass windows all around letting in beautiful lighting, originally not colored due to Cistercian laws prohibiting colour to not interfere with prayers.

The Romanesque style church boasts 5 bays all impressive in themselves.

 

The visit can be accompanied by dining in the restaurant at the end of your tour or have a picnic on the massive grounds and enjoy the feeling of going back in time.