As early as the 11th century a priory had been founded in the Abondance valley. Augustinian regular canons from the Abbey of Agaune in the Swiss Valais came and established themselves here.
In 1139, this priory was elevated to the status of an abbey. Its influence was to extend of the whole diocese of Geneva.
Later, the regime of the Commende established in 1436, in association with various other factors, was to bring about the decline of the monasteries. Lords of the manor appointed abbots who were not necessarily religious, often not in residence and who levied taxes on the community. In addition to this, the monks allowed themselves luxuries, such as rich food.
In 1607, following a report written by François de Sales, who had contributed to the reestablishment of the Catholic faith in the Chablais, the Pope dismissed the canons and replaced them with Cistercian monks of the reformed congregation from Feuillant, an abbey near Toulouse.
The beginings were full of promise but it was not long before the Abbey was one more in decline.
In 1761, Pope Clement XIII decided to dissolve the Abbey and since then, there have been no monks in Abondance.