Abbaye de Fontfroide

In 1093 a Benedictine abbey was founded here in the hills of the Corbières, and it became Cistercian in 1145. It's built of the local yellow and red sandstone, which is very beautiful in the sunlight. It was abandoned in 1791, but has been in private hands since 1908, and nicely restored, with attractive plantings amidst the dry hills.

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

Entrance into the abbey grounds. The Cour Louis XIV, in later neoclassic style. A rather pagan-looking fountain. A wrought-iron gate in grape-vine motif.
The cloisters, originally from the mid-13th century, with the 12th century abbey church beyond and above:

You can see some of the multi-colored marble colonnettes, with the chapter-house within. Benjamin and Grandma José enjoying the view.
Archways and doorways.
The bell-tower through an oculus, or eye-window. Benjamin and Richard, as taken by Isabel. The rose garden, with about 3,000 bushes. It's recent, from 1990, and extends a good distance back from the abbey. The bees and butterflies like it a lot!