The Capper Nomads Europe Adventure travel blog

















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Guide singing

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Tony having a go

Today we drove into central Provence to visit the Abbaye du Thoronet and a number of the little villages in the area. We went to the abbey first but discovered that they were closing for lunch in half an hour so we headed to the village of Cotignac.

Contignac had quite a nice central square but the unusual feature of the village is the huge overshadowing rock cliff behind the village with old houses built into the rock.

We then went a few kms further to the village of Sillans-la Cascade with the intention of walking to the waterfall from which the town is named but could we find the beginning of the path to the waterfall, we could not! After going in several different directions from the town with no luck we decided we would head back and visit the Abbaye du Thoronet. By this time they would be well and truly open after lunch. The French do not really seem to be into tourism!

The abbey was built between 1160 and 1230 and was home during the 13th century to twenty Cistercian monks and a similar number of lay brothers. By 1660 the abbey was in decline and by 1790 only seven elderly monks lived there. Restoration work started on the abbey in 1841 and continues today under the ownership of the State.

The main feature of the abbey was the church with amazing acoustics. A guide gave a demonstration walking around the church. Even Tony had a try.

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