An abbey is a type of monastery used by members of a religious order under the governance of an abbot or abbess. Abbeys provides a complex of buildings and land for religious activities, work, and housing of Christian monks and nuns.
The concept of the abbey has developed over many centuries from the early monastic ways of religious men and women where they would live isolated from the lay community about them. Religious life in an abbey may be monastic. An abbey may be the home of an enclosed religious order or may be open to visitors. The layout of the church and associated buildings of an abbey often follows a set plan determined by the founding religious order.
Abbeys are often self-sufficient while using any abundance of produce or skill to provide care to the poor and needy, refuge to the persecuted, or education to the young. Some abbeys offer accommodation to people who are seeking spiritual retreat. There are many famous abbeys across the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.
The earliest known Christian monasteries were groups of huts built near the residence of a famous ascetic or other holy person. Disciples wished to be close to their holy man or woman in order to study their doctrine or imitate their way of life.
In the earliest times of Christian monasticism, ascetics would live in social isolation but near a village church. They would subsist whilst donating any excess produce to the poor. However, increasing religious fervor about the ascetic's ways and or persecution of them would drive them further away from their community and further into solitude. For instance, the cells and huts of anchorites (religious recluses) have been found in the deserts of Egypt.
In 312 AD, Anthony the Great retired to the Thebaid region of Egypt to escape the persecution of the Emperor Maximian. Anthony was the best known of the anchorites of his time due to his degree of austerity, sanctity and his powers of exorcism. The deeper he withdrew into the wilderness, the more numerous his disciples became. They refused to be separated from him and built their cells close to him. This became a first true monastic community. According to August Neander, Anthony inadvertently became the founder of a new mode of living in common, Coenobitism.
At Tabennae on the Nile, in Upper Egypt, Saint Pachomius laid the foundations for the coenobitical life by arranging everything in an organized manner. He built several monasteries, each with about 1,600 separate cells laid out in lines. These cells formed an encampment where the monks slept and performed some of their manual tasks. There were nearby large halls such as the church, refectory, kitchen, infirmary, and guest house for the monk's common needs. An enclosure protecting all these buildings gave the settlement the appearance of a walled village. This layout, known as the laurae (lanes), became popular throughout Israel.
As well as the "laurae", communities known as "caenobia" developed. These were monasteries where monks lived a common life together. The monks were not permitted to retire to the cells of a laurae before they had undergone a lengthy period of training. In time, this form of common life superseded that of the older laurae.
In the late 300s AD, Palladius visited the Egyptian monasteries. He described three hundred members of the coenobium of Panopolis. There were fifteen tailors, seven smiths, four carpenters, twelve camel-drivers and fifteen tanners. These people were divided into subgroups, each with its own "oeconomus". A chief steward was at the head of the monastery.
The produce of the monastery was brought to Alexandria for sale. The moneys raised were used to purchase stores for the monastery or were given away as charity. Twice in the year, the superiors of several coenobia met at the chief monastery, under the presidency of an "archimandrite" (the "chief of the fold" from the word, "miandra" (a sheepfold)) in order to make their reports. Chrysostom recorded the workings of a coenobia in the vicinity of Antioch. The monks lived in separate huts ("kalbbia") which formed a religious hamlet on the mountainside. They were subject to an abbot, and observed a common rule.
The layout of the monastic coenobium was influenced by a number of factors. These included a need for defence, economy of space, and convenience of access. The layout of buildings became compact and orderly. Larger buildings were erected and defence was provided by strong outside walls. Within the walls, the buildings were arranged around one or more open courts surrounded by cloisters. The usual arrangement for monasteries of the Eastern world is exemplified in the plan of the convent of the Great Lavra at Mount Athos.
With reference to the diagram, right, the convent of the Great Lavra is enclosed within a strong and lofty blank stone wall. The area within the wall is between three and four acres (12,000 and 16,000 m²). The longer side is about 500 feet (150 m) in length. There is only one entrance, which is located on the north side (A), defended by three iron doors. Near the entrance is a large tower (M), a constant feature in the monasteries of the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean area). There is a small postern gate at L.
The enceinte comprises two large open courts, surrounded with buildings connected with cloister galleries of wood or stone. The outer court, which is the larger by far, contains the granaries and storehouses (K), the kitchen (H) and other offices connected with the refectory (G). Immediately adjacent to the gateway is a two-storied guest-house, entered from a cloister (C). The inner court is surrounded by a cloister (EE) from which one enters the monks' cells (II).
In the centre of this court stands the katholikon or conventual church, a square building with an apse of the cruciform domical Byzantine type, approached by a domed narthex. In front of the church stands a marble fountain (F), covered by a dome supported on columns.
Opening from the western side of the cloister, but actually standing in the outer court, is the refectory (G), a large cruciform (cross shaped) building, about 100 feet (30 m) square, decorated within with frescoes of saints. At the upper end is a semicircular recess, similar to the triclinium of the Lateran Palace in Rome, in which is placed the seat of the hegumenos or abbot. This apartment is chiefly used as a meeting place, with the monks usually taking their meals in their separate cells.
Monasticism in the West began with the activities of Benedict of Nursia (born 480 AD). Near Nursia, a town in Perugia, Italy, a first abbey was established at Monte Cassino (529 AD).Between 520 and 700 AD, monasteries were built which were spacious and splendid. All the city states of Italy hosted a Benedictine convent as did the cities of England, France and Spain. By 1415 AD, the time of the Council of Constance, 15,070 Benedictine monasteries had been established.
The early Benedictine monasteries, including the first at Monte Cassino, were constructed on the plan of the Roman villa. The layout of the Roman villa was quite consistent throughout the Roman Empire and where possible, the monks reused available villas in sound repair. This was done at Monte Cassino.
However, over time, changes to the common villa lay out occurred. The monks required buildings which suited their religious and day-to-day activities. No overriding specification was demanded of the monks but the similarity of their needs resulted in uniformity of design of abbeys across Europe.Eventually, the buildings of a Benedictine abbey were built in a uniform lay out, modified where necessary, to accommodate local circumstances.
The plan of the Abbey of Saint Gall (719 AD) indicates the general arrangement of a Benedictine monastery of its day. According to the architect Robert Willis (architect) (1800–1875) the Abbey's lay out is that of a town of individual houses with streets running between them. The abbey was planned in compliance with the Benedictine rule that, if possible, a monastery should be self-contained. For instance, there was a mill, a bakehouse, stables, and cattle stalls.In all, there were thirty-three separate structures; mostly one level wooden buildings.
The Abbey church occupied the centre of a quadrangular area, about 430 feet (130 m) square. On the eastern side of the north transept of the church was the "scriptorium" or writing-room, with a library above.
The church and nearby buildings ranged about the cloister, a court about which there was a covered arcade which allowed sheltered movement between the buildings. The nave of the church was on the north boundary of the cloister.
On the east side of the cloister, on the ground floor, was the "pisalis" or "calefactory". This was a common room, warmed by flues beneath the floor. Above the common room was the dormitory. The dormitory opened onto the cloister and also onto the south transept of the church. This enabled the monks to attend nocturnal services.A passage at the other end of the dormitory lead to the "necessarium" (latrines).
On the south side of the cloister was the refectory. The kitchen, at the west end of the refectory was accessed via an anteroom and a long passage. Nearby were the bake house, brew house and the sleeping-rooms of the servants. The upper story of the refectory was called the "vestiarium" (a room where the ordinary clothes of the monks were stored).
On the western side of the cloister was another two-story building with a cellar on the ground floor and the larder and store-room on the upper floor. Between this building and the church was a parlour for receiving visitors. One door of the parlour led to the cloisters and the other led to the outer part of the Abbey.
Against the outer wall of the church was a school and headmaster's house. The school consisted of a large schoolroom divided in the middle by a screen or partition, and surrounded by fourteen little rooms, the "dwellings of the scholars". The abbott's home was near the school.
To the north of the church and to the right of the main entrance to the Abbey, was a residence for distinguished guests. To the left of the main entrance was a building to house poor travellers and pilgrims. There was also a building to receive visiting monks. These "hospitia" had a large common room or refectory surrounded by bed rooms. Each hospitium had its own brewhouse and bakehouse, and the building for more prestigious travellers had a kitchen and storeroom, with bedrooms for the guests' servants and stables for their horses.The monks of the Abbey lived in a house built against the north wall of the church.
The whole of the southern and western areas of the Abbey were devoted to workshops, stables and farm-buildings including stables, ox-sheds, goatstables, piggeries, and sheep-folds, as well as the servants' and labourers' quarters.
In the eastern part of the Abbey there was a group of buildings representing in layout, two complete miniature monasteries. That is, each had a covered cloister surrounded by the usual buildings such as the church, the refectory, the dormitory and so on. A detached building belonging to each contained a bathroom and a kitchen.
One of the miniature complexes was called the "oblati". These were the buildings for the novices. The other complex was a hospital or infirmary for the care of sick monks. This infirmary complex included a physician's residence, a physic garden, a drug store, and a chamber for the critically ill. There was also a room for bloodletting and purging. The physic garden occupied the north east corner of the Abbey.
In the southern most area of the abbey was the workshop containing utilities for shoemakers, saddlers (or shoemakers, sellarii), cutlers and grinders, trencher-makers, tanners, curriers, fullers, smiths and goldsmiths. The tradesmen's living quarters were at the rear of the workshop. Here, there were also farm buildings, a large granary and threshing-floor, mills, and malthouse. At the south-east corner of the Abbey were hen and duck houses, a poultry-yard, and the dwelling of the keeper. Nearby was the kitchen garden which complemented the physic garden and a cemetery orchard.
Every large monastery had priories. A priory was a smaller structure or entities which depended on the monastery. Some were small monasteries accommodating five or ten monks. Others were no more than a single building serving as residence or a farm offices. The outlying farming establishments belonging to the monastic foundations were known as "villae" or "granges". They were usually staffed by lay-brothers, sometimes under the supervision of a monk.
Many of today's cathedrals in England were originally Benedictine monasteries.These included Canterbury, Chester, Durham, Ely, Gloucester, Norwich, Peterborough, Rochester, Winchester, and Worcester. Shrewsbury Abbey in Shropshire was founded as a Benedictine monastery by the Normans in 1083.
Westminster Abbey was founded in the tenth century by Saint Dunstan who established a community of Benedictine monks.The only traces of St Dunstan's monastery remaining are round arches and massive supporting columns of the undercroft and the Pyx Chamber.
The cloister and buildings lie directly to the south of the church. Parallel to the nave, on the south side of the cloister, was a refectory, with a lavatory at the door.On the eastern side, there was a dormitory, raised on a vaulted substructure and communicating with the south transept and a chapter house (meeting room). A small cloister lay to the south-east of the large cloister. Beyond that was an infirmary with a table hall and a refectory for those who were able to leave their chambers. At the west entrance to the Abbey, there was a house and a small courtyard for the abbot.
In 1055, St Mary's Abbey, York was built in England's north by the Order of Saint Benedict. It followed the common plan. The entrance to the abbey was through a strong gate on the northern side. Close to the entrance was a chapel. This was for visitors arriving at the Abbey to make their devotions. Near the gate was the hospitium (guest hall). The buildings are completely ruined, but the walls of the nave and the cloisters are still visible on the grounds of the Yorkshire Museum.
The Abbey was surrounded by fortified walls on three sides. The River Ouse bordered the fourth side. The stone walls remain as an excellent example of English abbey walls.
The Abbey of Cluny was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine in 910 AD at Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France. The Abbey was built in the Romanesque style. The Abbey was noted for its strict observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict. However, reforms resulted in many departures from this precedent. The Cluniac Reforms brought focus to the traditions of monastic life, encouraging art and the caring of the poor. The reforms quickly spread by the founding of new abbey complexes and by adoption of the reforms by existing abbeys. By the twelfth century, the Abbey of Cluny was the head of an order consisting of 314 monasteries.
The church at the Abbey was commenced in 1089 AD by Hugh of Cluny, the sixth abbot. It was finished and consecrated by Pope Innocent II around 1132 AD. The church was regarded as one of the wonders of the Middle Ages. At 555 feet (169 m) in length, it was the largest church in Christendom until the completion of St Peter's Basilica at Rome. The church consisted of five naves, a narthex (ante-church) which was added in 1220 AD, and several towers. Together with the conventual buildings, it covered an area of twenty-five acres.
In the Dechristianization of France during the French Revolution in 1790 AD, the Abbey church was bought by the town and almost entirely destroyed.
The first English house of the Cluniac order was built at Lewes, Sussex. It was founded by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey in about 1077 AD. All but one of the Cluniac houses in Britain were known as priories, symbolizing their subordination to the Abbot of Cluny. All the Cluniac houses in England and Scotland were French colonies, governed by French priors who travelled to the Abbey of Cluny to consult or be consulted (unless the abbot of Cluny chose to come to Britain, which happened rarely). The priory at Paisley was an exception. In 1245 AD it was raised to the status of an abbey, answerable only to the Pope.
The Augustinian (or "Austin") canons were an order of regular clergy within the hierarchy of the Catholic church. They held a position between monks and secular canons. They were known as "Black canons" because of the colour of their habits. In 1105 AD, the first house of the order was established at St Botolph's Priory, Colchester, Essex.
The canons built very long nave s to accommodate large congregations. The choirs were also long. Sometimes, as at Llanthony Priory and Christchurch, Dorset (Twynham), the choir was closed from the aisles. At other abbeys of the order, such as Bolton Abbey or Kirkham Priory, there were no aisles. The nave in the northern houses of the order often had only a north aisle (this is the case at Bolton, Brinkburn Priory and Lanercost Priory). The arrangement of the monastic buildings followed the ordinary plan. The prior's lodge was usually attached to the southwest angle of the nave.
The Austin canons' house at Thornton, Lincolnshire had a large and magnificent gatehouse. The upper floors of the gatehouse formed the guest-house. The chapter-house was octagonal in shape.
The plan of the Abbey of St Augustine's at Bristol (now the Bristol Cathedral) demonstrates the arrangement of the buildings by this order. The plan departs very little from the ordinary Benedictine type.
FIG. 11.--St Augustine's Abbey, Bristol (Bristol A. Church. B. Great cloister. C. Little cloister. D. Chapter house. E. Calefactory. F. Refectory. G. Parlour. H. Kitchen. I. Kitchen court. K. Cellars. L. Abbot's hall. P. Abbot's gateway. R. Infirmary. S. Friars' lodging. T. King's hall. V. Guest-house. W. Abbey gateway. X. Barns, stables, etc. Y. Lavatory.
The Premonstratensian regular canons, or "White canons", were of an order founded in 1119 AD by Norbert of Xanten. The order was a reformed branch of the Augustinian canons. From a marshy area in the Forest of Coucy in the diocese of Laon, the order spread widely. Even in Norbert's lifetime, the order had built abbeys in Aleppo, Syria and in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Of the Abbey of Saint Samuel, Denys Pringle wrote, "The Premonstatensian abbey of Saint Samuel was a daughter house of Prémontré itself. Its abbot had the status of a suffragan of the patriarch of Jerusalem, with the right to a cross, but not to a mitre nor a ring."It long maintained its rigid austerity, though in later years the abbey grew wealthier, and its members indulged in more frequent luxuries.
Just after 1140 AD, the Premonstratensians were brought to England. Their first settlement was at Newhouse Abbey, Lincolnshire, near the Humber tidal estuary. There were as many as thirty-five Premonstratensian abbeys in England. The head abbey in England was at Welbeck Abbey but the best preserved are Easby Abbey in Yorkshire, and Bayham Old Abbey in Kent.
The lay out of Easby Abbey is irregular due to its position on the edge of a steep river bank. The cloister is duly placed on the south side of the church, and the chief buildings occupy their usual positions around it. However, the cloister garth (quadrangle), as at Chichester, is not rectangular, and thus, all the surrounding buildings are positioned in an awkward fashion. The church follows the plan adopted by the Austin canons in their northern abbeys, and has only one aisle to the north of the nave, while the choir is long, narrow and without an aisle. Each transept has an aisle to the east, forming three chapels.
The church at Bayham Old Abbey had no aisles in the nave or the choir. The latter terminated in a three-sided apse. The church is remarkable for its extreme narrowness in proportion to its length. While the building is 257 ft (78 m) long, it is not more than 25 ft (7.6 m) wide. Premonstratensian canons did not care to have congregations nor possessions. Therefore, they built their churches in the shape of a long room.
The Cistercians, a Benedictine reform group, were established at Cîteaux in 1098 AD by Robert of Molesme, Abbot of Molesme, for the purpose of restoring, as far as possible, the literal observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict. La Ferté, Pontigny, Clairvaux, and Morimond were the first four abbeys to follow Cîteaux's example and others followed. The monks of Cîteaux created the well known vineyards of Clos-Vougeot and Romanée in Burgundy.
The Cistercian principle of rigid self-abnegation carried over to the design of the order's churches and buildings. The defining architectural characteristic of the Cistercian abbeys was extreme simplicity and plainness. Only a single, central tower was permitted, and that was usually very low. Unnecessary pinnacles and turrets were prohibited. The triforium was omitted. The windows were usually plain and undivided, and it was forbidden to decorate them with stained glass. All needless ornament was proscribed. The crosses were made of wood and the candlesticks of iron.
The same principle governed the choice of site for Cistercian abbeys in that a most dismal site might be improved by the building of an abbey. The Cistercian monasteries were founded in deep, well-watered valleys, always standing at a stream's edge. The building might extend over the water as is the case at Fountains Abbey. These valleys, now rich and productive, had a very different appearance when the brethren first chose them as their place of retreat. Wide swamps, deep morasses, tangled thickets, and wild, impassable forests were their prevailing features.Clara Vallis of St Bernard, now the "bright valley" was originally, the "Valley of Wormwood". It was an infamous den of robbers.
The plan of a Coptic Orthodox monastery, from Lenoir, shows a church of three aisles, with cellular apses, and two ranges of cells on either side of an oblong gallery.
The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict, are a monastic religious order of the Catholic Church following the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also sometimes called the Black Monks, in reference to the colour of the members' religious habits.
A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone (hermits). A monastery generally includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, and may also serve as an oratory, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex typically comprises a number of buildings which include a church, dormitory, cloister, refectory, library, balneary and infirmary. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may also include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community. These may include a hospice, a school, and a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge, or a brewery.
Clairvaux Abbey was a Cistercian monastery in Ville-sous-la-Ferté, 15 km from Bar-sur-Aube, in the Aube department in northeastern France. The original building, founded in 1115 by St. Bernard, is now in ruins; the present structure dates from 1708. Clairvaux Abbey was a good example of the general layout of a Cistercian monastery. The Abbey has been listed since 1926 as a historical monument by the French Ministry of Culture.
The Cistercians officially the Order of Cistercians, are a Catholic religious order of monks and nuns that branched off from the Benedictines and follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. They are also known as Bernardines, after the highly influential Bernard of Clairvaux ; or as White Monks, in reference to the colour of the "cuccula" or white choir robe worn by the Cistercians over their habits, as opposed to the black cuccula worn by Benedictine monks.
Buckfast Abbey forms part of an active Benedictine monastery at Buckfast, near Buckfastleigh, Devon, England. Buckfast first became home to an abbey in 1018. The first Benedictine abbey was followed by a Savignac abbey constructed on the site of the current abbey in 1134. The monastery was surrendered for dissolution in 1539, with the monastic buildings stripped and left as ruins, before being finally demolished. The former abbey site was used as a quarry, and later became home to a Gothic mansion house.
A priory is a monastery of men or women under religious vows that is headed by a prior or prioress. Priories may be houses of mendicant friars or nuns, or monasteries of monks or nuns. Houses of canons regular and canonesses regular also use this term, the alternative being "canonry".
A cloister is a covered walk, open gallery, or open arcade running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth. The attachment of a cloister to a cathedral or church, commonly against a warm southern flank, usually indicates that it is part of a monastic foundation, "forming a continuous and solid architectural barrier... that effectively separates the world of the monks from that of the serfs and workmen, whose lives and works went forward outside and around the cloister."
The Tironensian Order or the Order of Tiron was a medieval monastic order named after the location of the mother abbey in the woods of Tiron in Perche, some 35 miles west of Chartres in France). They were popularly called "Grey Monks" because of their grey robes, which their spiritual cousins, the monks of Savigny, also wore.
Beaulieu Abbey, grid reference, was a Cistercian abbey in Hampshire, England. It was founded in 1203–1204 by King John and populated by 30 monks sent from the abbey of Cîteaux in France, the mother house of the Cistercian order. The Medieval Latin name of the monastery was Bellus Locus Regis or monasterium Belli loci Regis. Other spellings of the English name which occur historically are Bewley and Beaulie.
The Plan of Saint Gall is a medieval architectural drawing of a monastic compound dating from 820–830 AD. It depicts an entire Benedictine monastic compound, including churches, houses, stables, kitchens, workshops, brewery, infirmary, and a special house for bloodletting. According to calculations based on the manuscript's tituli the complex was meant to house about 110 monks, 115 lay visitors, and 150 craftmen and agricultural workers. The Plan was never actually built, and was so named because it is dedicated to Gozbert abbot of Saint Gall. The planned church was intended to keep the relics of Saint Gall. The plan was kept at the famous medieval monastery library of the Abbey of St. Gall – Stiftsbibliothek Sankt Gallen – where it remains to this day.
Cluny Abbey is a former Benedictine monastery in Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France. It was dedicated to St Peter.
The Cluniac Reforms were a series of changes within medieval monasticism of the Western Church focused on restoring the traditional monastic life, encouraging art, and caring for the poor. The movement began within the Benedictine order at Cluny Abbey, founded in 910 by William I, Duke of Aquitaine (875–918). The reforms were largely carried out by Saint Odo and spread throughout France, into England, and through much of Italy and Spain.
Thoronet Abbey is a former Cistercian abbey built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century, now restored as a museum. It is sited between the towns of Draguignan and Brignoles in the Var Department of Provence, in southeast France. It is one of the three Cistercian abbeys in Provence, along with the Sénanque Abbey and Silvacane, that together are known as "the Three Sisters of Provence."
Chiaravalle Abbey, Fiastra is a Cistercian abbey situated between Tolentino and Urbisaglia, in the Marche. It is one of the best preserved Cistercian abbeys in Italy. It is surrounded by a large nature reserve.
The Abbey of Fontenay is a former Cistercian abbey located in the commune of Marmagne, near Montbard, in the département of Côte-d'Or in France. It was founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118, and built in the Romanesque style. It is one of the oldest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in Europe, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Of the original complex comprising church, dormitory, cloister, chapter house, caldarium, refectory, dovecote and forge, all remain intact except the refectory and are well maintained. The Abbey of Fontenay, along with other Cistercian abbeys, forms a connecting link between Romanesque and Gothic architectures.
Bebenhausen Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery complex located in Bebenhausen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The complex is also the location of Bebenhausen Palace, a hunting retreat created and maintained by two Kings of Württemberg.
Inch Abbey is a large, ruined monastic site 0.75 miles (1.2 km) north-west of Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland, on the north bank of the River Quoile in a hollow between two drumlins and featuring early Gothic architecture. The site is mostly in State Care and is at grid ref: J477455, off the main road to Belfast.
The Abbey of Santa Maria di Rovegnano is a Cistercian monastic complex in the comune of Milan, Lombardy, northern Italy. The borgo that has developed round the abbey was once an independent commune called Chiaravalle Milanese, now included in Milan and referred to as the Chiaravalle district.
Monasteries in Spain have a rich artistic and cultural tradition, and serve as testament to Spain's religious history and political-military history, from the Visigothic Period to the Middle Ages. The monasteries played an important role in the recruitment conducted by Christian aristocracy during and after the progress of the Reconquista, with the consequent decline in the Muslim south of the peninsula.
The Priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs was an influential monastery established in what is now the city of Paris, France. Its surviving buildings are considered treasures of Medieval architecture in the city.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Abbey .|