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Abbaye du Maillezais

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Abbaye de Maillezais, Vendee
Situated on an island in the Golfe de Pictons the Abbey of Maillezais is architecturally unique in the Poitou Saintonge. The Abbaye Saint Pierre was built in 1003 on the site of a former castle of the Dukes of Aquitaine several of whom were buried there and it was entrusted to the Benedictine monks in 1010. The Abbey was pillaged in the 13th century on several occasions by the count of Mervent-Vouvant.
In 1317 Pope John XX11 declared it a Bishopric although he allowed the monks to stay.
Artists and men of Letters always found a refuge at the Abbey. Francois Rabelais in 1518 during the Wars of Religion was a notable refugee after being expelled from Fontenay-le-Comte.
It was made a Protestant stronghold by Agrippa d'Aubigne in 1589 before being sold to the Duke of Rohan in 1610. In 1648 the Bishopric was transferred to  La Rochelle.
The Abbey was confiscated by the state just after the Revolution and sold for demolition.

From the Abbey's esplanade visitors can view the imposing remains of the cathedral and the seven halls of its well preserved monastic buildings which include the refectories, a cellar, a salt store, dormitories and the kitchen

There are several events throughout the year:
The Festival Des Abbeye: classical and sacred music;


Sentinelle du Marais: Famous people in the history of the Abbey. 8 July -26 August;
Sunday to Thursdays 14h30, 16h15 & 20h It includes a tour of the abbey.

Custumed tour of the abbey for 5 to 9 year olds on Sundays to Thursdays at 10h30, 11h45, 15h30 & 18h

Christmas Fair in a reconstructed Sinai village in December.


Open every day;
        1st April to 31st May & 1st September to 31st September 10h to 12.30 & 13h30 to 18h
      1st June  - 31st August. 10h to 19h.30
       
Tarif: Adult 5 euros, Student and Handicapped 3euros
        under 18s Free.


Photo gallery of the Abbaye du Maillezais


Return to find more attractions in the Vendee
Restaurants Marais Poitevin
Video of the Abbey
Photos of Abbaye