Explore the Abondance Abbey

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The Abbey was founded during the early 12th century by Canons Regular of Saint Augustine.  They developed the abbey to such an extent that it quickly became one the most important spiritual centers in the Alps.
In the 15th century began a new form of administration: the abbot was no longer elected by the community, but nominated by the Duchy of Savoy. It led to the decline of the abbey. At the beginning of the 17th century, Saint Francis of Sales, bishop of Geneva, exceeded by the canons’ behavior, obtained their replacement by another religious community: Cistercians monks.
The Abondance Abbey was definitely closed (in 1761), a few years before French Revolution (1789).
Nowadays, the Abondance Abbey is a public property, administration is trying to preserve this inestimable heritage.

The Cloister

Central place of the Abbey, this was the part where meditation and spirituals took place.   

About the sculptures:
The “Virgin Mary’s Door” was the one ledding directly the monks from the cloister to the church. The tympanum is decorated with a Virgin in Majesty. On each side of the door, there are two column statues: the one on the left-hand side portrays an Old Testament allegory and the one on the right a New Testament allegory.
On the vaulting of the galleries, the keystones are decorated with the Zodiac or the Labours of the Months.

The masterpiece of the cloister is the set of murals of the 15th century. In around 1430, the cloister was decorated, by Giacomo Jaquerio and his disciples, with twenty-four paintings depicting Virgin Mary’s life. The figurative scenes are set in Chablais and Piedmont and every object, every costume and every construction illustrate this twofold influence. Nowadays, six murals and some fragments still remained.


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