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Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Isère

Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Isère
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A stop on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrim route (Way of St James) and one of France's Most Beautiful Villages, Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye will delight fans of built heritage with its half-timbered old houses, medieval market hall and abbey founded in 1297 by the Order of St Anthony to house the relics of St Anthony of Egypt. Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye has preserved a remarkable building from its rich religious past: Saint-Antoine Abbey Church, built from the 13th to the 15th centuries. This Gothic building is a listed Historic Monument and possesses a magnificent carved portal. The interior holds much of interest for visitors and pilgrims, including frescoes, walnut choir stalls, Aubusson tapestries, a monumental high altar housing the reliquary of St Anthony of Egypt, and an organ dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Also not to be missed is the treasure house of the Hospital Brothers of St Anthony (Antonines) in the church sacristies, which contains reliquaries, liturgical garments, surgical instruments and a Christ in ivory.

The Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye Departmental Museum, housed in the old noviciate, puts on exhibitions related to the Middle Ages, the abbey and the Order of the Antonines. You can also visit its medieval garden, located in the courtyard of the Great Stables (Grandes Écuries).

The village hosts a sacred music festival in the abbey church every summer, as well as a medieval festival, Saint-Antoine en Moyen Âge, with all sorts of entertainment, including shows, a market and medieval ball.

Additional information
Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye

Located in the Isère department, at the gateway to the Drôme, halfway between Grenoble and Valence, the medieval village of Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye is considered one of the essential jewels of the Rhône-Alpes heritage. It is the only village classified among the Most Beautiful Villages of France in Isère.

A major pilgrimage site for centuries, the village retains many architectural testimonies of its prestigious past. The site of Saint-Antoine, listed as a Historic Monument, remains, as in the past, a formidable center of attraction for people curious about their history. The history of the village is closely linked to Saint Anthony the Egyptian whose relics, brought back by the lord of the place, Baron Jocelyn, would have had the virtue of curing the "Mal des Ardents" or "Feu de Saint-Antoine". Nowadays, this disease takes the name of ergotism. It is caused by ergot of rye, a fungus, causing food poisoning with frightening symptoms: gangrene, hallucinations which can go to the point of madness. From the 12th century, the Brothers of Alms welcomed pilgrims and patients in hospitals. Having become Regular Canons of the Hospitaller Order of Saint-Antoine or Antonine, they are distinguished by their innovative science in medicine. Diplomats and advisers to major courts, they extended their influence throughout Europe (more than 300 commanderies). The abbey, of flamboyant Gothic style, is a prestigious vestige of this past grandeur.

Things to see and do

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Monuments
Natural sites

Events and festivities

Christmas at the Museum / Christmas of Lights - Nowell Nowell by Ensemble Mora Vocis
Christmas Carols by Luc Arbogast

Photos

Abbey and its large courtyard (© Pierre Jayet)
Abbey and its large courtyard (© Pierre Jayet)
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Village and abbey of Saint-Antoine (© Pierre Jayet)
Village and abbey of Saint-Antoine (© Pierre Jayet)
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General view of Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye (© Pierre Jayet)
General view of Saint-Antoine-l'Abbaye (© Pierre Jayet)
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Medieval (© Pierre Jayet)
Medieval (© Pierre Jayet)
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Western facade of the church (© HJ Bourgeas)
Western facade of the church (© HJ Bourgeas)
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Nave of the abbey church (© Pierre Jayet)
Nave of the abbey church (© Pierre Jayet)
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Mullioned windows
Mullioned windows
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Bell tower of the abbey church
Bell tower of the abbey church
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Grande Rue
Grande Rue
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Gatehouse of the abbey
Gatehouse of the abbey
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby

Restaurants

Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals

Campsites

Hotels

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