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“Interesting but not spectacular”
Review of Abbaye de Lagrasse

Abbaye de Lagrasse
Ranked #2 of 12 things to do in Lagrasse
Attraction details
Reviewed October 25, 2013

We went in late October and whilst the village of Lagrasse was pretty much closed up for the season, having the government side of the Abbaye to ourselves was great. For 4euros its worth going to see but interesting rather than spectacular. It still impresses me how they built what they did back then. Probably would want to fight the crowds in high season.

1  Thank JonBunston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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71 - 75 of 367 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2013

Abbaye de St. Marie d'Orbieu

In the heart of the Cathar country, this beautiful abbey was founded by Charlemagne in 779. In the early Twelfth Century, the Abbey owned around 100 churches and property that stretched to Zaragoza in Spain and reached the height of its power under Abbot Auger de Gogenx who developed much of the mediaeval parts of the Abbey.

Today it is in the care of the Benedictine Chanoines Reguliers de la Mere de Dieu, who came to Lagrasse in 2004 with the aim of restoring the Abbey including the wonderful garden which contains plants from all over the world and many heritage varieties.

3  Thank Gail T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Lagrasse is a beautiful village and the abbey is well sited within the landscape on the opposite side of the river Orbieu.

Sadly, the French Revolution led to the abbey being auctioned off in two parts. The side still occupied by monks was largely built in the 17th Century and it is only open after 3:00pm. As we visited in mid-morning, we could only look at the elegant buildings in honey-coloured sandstone through the wrought iron gates.

The largely medieval part of the abbey is owned by the Department of the Aude and a pretty poor job they make of maintaining and interpreting it. While there was no evidence of current work going on, many of the rooms gave the impression of being building sites with dirt floors and piles of "stuff" dotted around. The lower chapel was well presented, but you could only look into it through small windows of smeared glass.

I could understand the interesting film about the abbey which was in French, but the projection was so poor that the images were barely visible. There is no excuse for this.

With imaginative management and a modest amount of money the visitor experience in the part of the abbey in public ownership could be radically improved. Large amounts of capital would be needed to bring the buildings up to the standard of the other well known abbeys in the region.

3  Thank Minackman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2013

We only visited the Government side as the religious side only opens for short periods. Whilst this was a fascinating building, the information provided was limited. There was a film but without subtitles it was useless. The town is given the accolade of being one of the prettiest towns in France. I have seen many that are prettier.

1  Thank Peninoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

The Reviews of the Abbaye are mostly accompanied by wonderful descriptions of the village, which is almost as quiet as the historic building. The residents of the Abbaye are very welcoming and it has an air of peace and tranquillity. Wander through the gardens, stop and say a prayer, browse the bookshop.Buy some honey !
Then wander through the narrow streets of the village, enjoy a glass of wine, visit the excellent bakery. But the best thing to do is swim in the cool clean river, in the pool below the Abbaye. Bring a bottle of wine and a good book.
Lagrasse is a hidden gem, nestled in its own bowl, an hour from Carcasonne and ideal for a weekend getaway especially in May or September. A week would be a lot, unless you bring a few books.The village is small, with fewer than 6 restaurants and safe for kids, no car needed, walk everywhere. It is ideal if you want to get creative, write a novel or just slow down for a few days. The village is a tourist attraction without the tourist traps, it is quaint, stylish and very traditional. Learn a few words of French before visiting, make the effort and reap the reward of having the locals welcome you. We stayed an extra night, because it was so good.

Thank michaelmacginty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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