I went with my Tourism Management class today on an excursion to Fontevraud Abbey. This class is my “minor” (despite the fact it will occupy the majority of my class time now), and it’s very good because of all of the free field trips we’ll have to touristic sites nearby in France. This was the first major test for my new camera, and it wasn’t too bad. I noticed that many of my pictures seemed blurry with too much light, but I got some decent pictures.
Entrance from the street
Hallways along the perimeter of the courtyard.
This Royal Abbey was constructed between 1110 and 1109, which is insanely old by Canadian standards. We’d get excited to find a rock that old in the “New World”. The Abbey began life as a “double monastery” in which both nuns and monks were present, with royal connections. The nuns were only allowed to talk freely once a year, while monks were supposed to pray often. They weren’t without perks. Nuns had their clothing replaced once a year, while monks were allowed to drink wine with every meal (instead of just once a day for the nuns).
A uniqueness to this Abbey was that the leader of order, the abbess, was always a woman. Many abbesses came from the French Bourbon royal family.
The Abbey did not have much heating, except in one writing room, so they probably were cold a lot in the winter. It was very cold today.
This is me standing inside one of the nicer rooms. Instead of paying attention to the actual purpose of this room, I was too busy having my picture taken.
This room was where all the nuns slept. You’d think that this Abbey, now a culture centre and tourist attraction, could do more to make this type of room more interesting or authentic, to the extent where explanation of its original use wouldn’t be necessary to bring meaning to such a wide open space.
The letters stand for the translation of “French Republic”, which comes from the time between 1804 and 1963 when the Abbey became a jail.
This is inside the church, near the tombs where King Henry II of England is buried, along with members of his family. This fact is apparently not well known, as it was a million-pound question on the U.K. version of Millionaire, as our tour operator told us.
Me sitting on a well.
That’s all I have to say about the Abbey. I have the rest of my pictures posted in my Gallery as usual.
I was originally planning to go to Bordeaux this weekend with ALOHA at the school, but that trip has been cancelled. Instead, I will be going to Disneyland Paris on Saturday, and possibly other places. I still have 2 days left on my train travel pass from my last trip that needed to be used on or before Sunday.
On Monday, I will be visiting Futuroscope, a popular amusement park in Poitiers, with my Tourism class. The morning will be somewhat educational, but the park operators have generously allowed our class free access to the park for the rest of the day. Not bad.
Until next time!