Le Thoronet Abbey

Le Thoronet Abbey

Le Thoronet Cistercian Monastery was built between 1160 and 1230 deep in the forest, about 10 km southwest of Lorgues. Its pure lines and simple shapes have inspired contemporary architects such as Le Corbusier.

In the Monastery’s heyday, around twenty monks and twenty lay brothers lived here. The Monastery eventually declined, and was abandoned in 1791. Restoration work began in 1841 and continues today. It is one of the national monuments of France.

We visited the Monastery on a clear November day. The tour of the Abbey takes about an hour. It is a rather compact entity. We combined the visit with a lunch in Le Thoronet Village nearby. We had a seasonal dish, aïoli. The area around Lorgues is wine-growing land, Côtes de Provence AOP. We took the opportunity to visit La Maison des Vins near Les Arcs on the way home. They have an excellent selection (about 800) of mainly local wines.


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