At about fifteen kilometres from Narbonne, in the heart of a quiet vale in the Corbières, in a setting of cypress and pine trees, nestles the former Sainte-Marie de Fontfroide Abbey, a charming, picturesque ensemble founded at the end of the 11th century by Benedictine monks and affiliated with the Cistercian Order in 1145.
Admirably restored, this Cistercian monument is open to the public throughout the year, and can be seen in a guided tour of about an hour or during a themed tour... A great chance to appreciate some wonderfully serene places, such as the 12th-century abbey church, with modern stained glass windows, the cloister with Romanesque columns, the majestic, marble-columned chapter house, the buildings for monks and lay people, not forgetting the terraced gardens and the superb rose garden with no fewer than 2,500 rose bushes!
You can taste the AOP Corbières wines from the estate, and numerous cultural events take place here, from classical music concerts to exhibitions, as well as the Plant Festival in May.
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