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“Quiet solitude”

Abbaye Notre Dame de Ganagobie
Ranked #3 of 17 things to do in Forcalquier
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Ganagobie monastery
We visited this monastery early in the morning (10am). It was a very steep switchback drive up to the Monastery but in Provence, if you want to visit a touristic site, they are usually perched on a mountain side somewhere up near the heavens!
As a matter of fact, if you wish to feel even more spiritual, the St-Jacques-de-Compostelle trail runs through the monastery’s site and young pilgrims are able to spend the night. They are also the only ones that get to visit the cloisters as they are blocked out to any public access. This was pretty sad, considering that it looked beautiful looking into it through Plexiglas windows from inside the chapel.
The morning that we went, there was a team of web-engineers with all of their equipment. The monastery wanted to update their website, so they got a team of professionals to dash and roam around everywhere we thought was interesting to go, which turned out to be annoying.
Access to the 12th century mosaics was blocked with a velvet rope. Having gone through a lot of trouble to come here and being aggravated by this team in my way, I jumped the rope to photograph these marvelous war drawings around the altar. There’s a lot of irony in that last sentence…
Walking around the site, we fell upon some almond trees, a cemetery for the monks that had passed on and a great view of the Durance River overlooking Les Mées and their penitent rock formations.
The monastery also has a gift shop with many pleasant things. Local products, religious artifacts, food, Provence specialties, and books.
Aside from the team, I would have loved to go back…especially for the Official Church visit in the afternoon. Hint: Check the opening hours if you want to visit this place, otherwise, access is restricted.

1  Thank Vox-trotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 11 of 118 reviews

Reviewed August 8, 2012

If you are driving in the Durance valley (A-51 motorway), take a break and visit the ancient medieval monastery of Ganagobie - north of Sisteron on the West side of the river. A short drive up from the local road leads into a still-active Benedictine monastery whose church - which can be visited - hosts some of France's most unusual ancient mosaics - including Elephants and fantastic animals like Griffons etc. There is a lovely little shop run by the monks with local products and in June/July the nearby lavendar fields (seen on an earlier visit) are in bloom, adding to the country charm. A peaceful haven and reminder of another era when humanity's main concern was seeking heaven and not the nearest MacDonalds.

3  Thank Arizona-Senior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2012

It is not possible to visit the whole monastery: only church is open to the public, giving access to the twelfth Century mosaics; the cloister can be seen through glass protected windows.
It is also possible to visit the surrounding plateau, notable for the view over the Durance valley .

Thank LL-CC-FF-AA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago
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Thank judoka04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2017 via mobile
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Thank Philippides
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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