Lagrasse

This village on the Orbieu river is known primarily for its adjoining abbey. The origins of the town and abbey appear to lie in Carolingian times, i.e. those of Charlemagne, in the 8th century. There still remains one tower in the abbey identified as Carolingian, or pre-Romanesque. Now the town is definitely a tourist destination and an artists' colony. The abbey is not in as good a state of preservation as Fontfroide, but the "ruin" is of interest in of itself.

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

The humpback bridge on the left dates from the 11th century, and is thus almost one thousand years old.
Benjamin looks like he's doing something rather dangerous!
The town presents an austere and fortified front to the river.
The abbey, across the river, dominates the town.
To the left, the "old cloisters", a mix of various ages.

To the right, the main cloisters, built in 1760 on the site of the 1280 originals.
Old doors and walls.

Views of the tower, which is now 40m or 130 feet tall, and may have been intended to support a much taller spire. One can still climb the 220 narrow and twisty steps up to the top, for a fine view.

The view from the tower, over the abbey, the river, and the town:

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