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Visit the Abbaye des Châteliers

Written on : 06 April 2020
By : Léa Frémiot
Visit the Abbaye des Châteliers

You have just booked your stay on the Ile de Ré and you are currently looking for activities to discover this charming island? Whether you are travelling with family or friends, at Villanovo we are always looking for more activities to offer you to make your stay unique. Today we suggest you to discover the historic Abbaye des Châteliers which highlights the exceptional heritage of the island of Ré. 
 
>>> All our luxury villas for a stay on the island of Ré
 

A site with an eventful history

A site with an eventful history

You have just booked your stay on the Ile de Ré and you are currently looking for activities to discover this charming island? Whether you are travelling with family or friends, at Villanovo we are always looking for more activities to offer you to make your stay unique. Today we suggest you to discover the historic Abbaye des Châteliers which highlights the exceptional heritage of the island of Ré. 
 
>>> All our luxury villas for a stay on the island of Ré
 
A site with an eventful history
Now in ruins, the Abbey of the Châteliers has had a singular and not very happy history which makes it an immortal cultural site. The abbey, which is also called the abbey of Notre-Dame de Ré, was founded in 1150 by a small group of Cistercian monks in the commune of Flotte-en-Ré, a few metres from the sea. A few years later, the abbey became one of the largest and most powerful abbeys in the west of France. Indeed, it was one of the largest religious monuments of the time and a large part of the Ile de Ré was run by this monastery. These monks took advantage of their presence to sow the first vines on the island and to develop many crops. However, in 1294 the Abbey of the Châteliers was destroyed for the first time by the English before being rebuilt a few years later. Then came a succession of religious wars, including the Hundred Years' War, in which the abbey was once again the victim with part of its building destroyed again in 1388 and a few years later in 1462 with much more serious damage. The abbey was completely renovated, particularly the Notre-Dame abbey church, which is the best-preserved part today. Following the difficulties that the abbey was experiencing to ensure its activity and a new devastation on the part of the Huguenots, still in the context of religious conflicts, the monks then decided to leave the monument for good. Left abandoned, stones from the building were then used for the construction of the Fort la Prée a few steps from the abbey. A few years later, the rest of the ruins were used by Oratorian priests who then transformed the choir of the abbey Notre-Dame into a chapel that was dedicated to Saint-Laurent until 1793. The monument would then serve as a landmark for sailors, part of which would be painted in black and white. It was finally in 1990 that the building was classified as a historical heritage site and in 1997 the abbey was renovated and secured by the General Council of Charente-Maritime to make it a tourist attraction. 
 
Today, the Abbaye des Châteliers is a cultural site open to the public and a must if you are looking for historical discoveries in the region. The visit of the remains of this monument can be done in a freeway but also through a guided tour to discover all the secrets of the abbey. The ruins date back to the 14th century and you can mainly recognize the abbey church which has been well preserved. For an additional visit, we advise you to go to the Platin Ecomuseum in La Flotte-en-Ré to discover the archaeological finds of the site but also to book your guided tour. You won't regret your discovery of the Châteliers Abbey. 
 
>>> Our guide on the Ile de Ré, to see - to do