Abbey of Montmajour

Built in the 12th century, the Notre Dame abbey-church is characteristically representative of Romanesque buildings. It was at the heart of the monastic life.

The buildings, including the chapter house, the refectory, the pantry, the library and the kitchen, can be reached by way of the cloister, restored in 1872. You can admire the remarkable representations of imaginary animals, human figures and vegetation below the columns' capitals.

At the top of the Pons de l'Orme Tower that overlooks this first group of buildings, the panorama takes in Arles, Tarascon, the plain of La Crau and the Alpilles.

The Saint-Maur monastery constitutes the second group of buildings, built between 1703 and 1736 based on the architectural drawings by the architect from Avignon, Pierre Mignard. The reformed Benedictine congregation of Saint-Maur, established at Montmajour in 1639, took up their quarters there (this part is not open to the public).

Built on what had once been a rocky island, the Abbey of Montmajour has been listed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Situated 2 kilometers from the town center of Arles, it symbolizes an extraordinary feat of Romanesque, Gothic and Classical architecture.

Two monasteries built in the 11th and the 18th century constitute the Abbey of Montmajour, the living soul of a community of Benedictine monks.

In summer, as part of the Rencontres de la Photographie Photo Festival of Arles, the Abbey of Montmajour hosts exhibitions.

The Benedictine monks founded the abbey of Saint-Pierre in 948 on the "Mont Majour" (the big mountain).

They built the two monasteries in a manner that ensured themselves a dominant position over the plain to the northeast of Arles.

The Saint-Pierre monastery was the first one built, between the 10th and 15th century.

Most of the buildings still stand. The Saint-Pierre Hermitage, dating from the 10th and 11th century was built in part on the southern rock (closed to visitors for safety reasons). The early Romanesque style is recognizable in its capitals.

At the top of the hill and around the Sainte-Croix funeral chapel dating from the 12th century, you can admire the cave cemetery that had been dug there.

The crypt is a veritable church. In Provence, its design remains unique and includes a rotunda, an ambulatory and a chapel, each as dazzling as the other. The crypt supports the abbey.

The Abbey of Montmajour in the Camargue

The cloister of the Abbey of Montmajour

The Saint-Maur monastery

The apse of the Abbey Church

The cemetery of the monks

The cloister from the Pons d'Orme tower

Abbaye de Montmajour - Route de Fontvieille - 13200 Arles

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