Wim Willems

Wim Willems

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Abbey of Sénanque


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Source: Wim Willems

The abbey was founded in 1148 as a daughter monastery of the Mazan abbey. After ensuring a good water supply by building dikes and canals, the monks had a lot of agricultural yields. The construction of the church could be financed from the money they earned with this. This was built between 1160 and 1180.

In 1544 the abbey was partly destroyed during religious wars. The prosperous monastic life came to a standstill and in 1780 the last monk of Sénanque died. During the French Revolution the abbey buildings served as a farm.

Halfway through the 19th century, monks returned to live in the abbey, but they had to leave early in the 20th century because of French legislation against religious orders. In 1926 the monks returned to the abbey, but they failed to maintain the buildings. In 1969 a cultural-historical center was established. Since 1988, Cistercian monks have been living in the monastery again.


Gordes, France

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