A few months back I visited Provence, most of the time was spent working but there were also room for some excursions. One of the places we visited was the Cistercian abbey Le Thoronet. If you happen to pass by, make a stop it’s worth it. The Order of Cistercians is a Roman Catholic religious order of enclosed monks. The Cistercian way of life is that of simplicity, manual labour and self-sufficiency. It was founded in 1098 AD as branch within the order of the Benedictines by Robert from Molesmes and 12 other monks. When Bernhard Clairvaux entered the picture in 1112 it started to spread, when he died, 1153, the order had more than 280 convents.
Most medieval abbeys in Sweden were Cistercians; today most of them can be seen as ruins. Among others Alvastra monastery (1143), Nydala monastery (1143), Varnhem monastery (1150), Roma monastery (1164) etc. there was also nunneries such as Vreta monastery (build as a benediction monastery ca 1100 AD and transformed into a Cistercians monastery ca 1160, Gudhem (1175), Sko kloster (monastery) (1220) etc. Today these ruins are beautiful scenic spots – but as place such as Le Thoronet is like walking into a model that translated the ruins into what it most probably look like once.
Le Thoronet Abbey is probably built sometimes between 1147 when the count of Provence; Raymond Béranger II confirms the abbeys property 1157 when the community moves from Florièges to le Thoronet
I’ll let this pictures tell the story instead of me;