St. Amant Boixe - A Magnificent Romanesque Abbey

Just 18 km north of Angouleme you will find a magnificent romanesque abbey called St. Amant Boixe.

The Abbey of Saint-Amant-Boixe is one of the oldest monastic centres in the Charente.

You will be surprised by the history and architectural richness of this site.

Following I have summoned up a little bit of history for you and I hope it will make you want to visit it - remember it is free on certain days.

The abbey of Saint-Amant-de-Boixe owes its origin to the hermit's lover, who lived in the sixth century in the forest of Boixe.

The abbey was refounded a century later by the will of Arnaud, Count of Angouleme.

Around 1025, William IV Taillefer fulfills the will of his father, a church was built and the buildings that surround it.

Faced with the growing fame of the abbey, the abbot William decides to rebuild the eastern part of the church.

In 1125, this first season of work is completed.

The nave, reserved to the parish, was later rebuilt on the foundations of the old building.

The consecration of the new building was attended by many dignitaries in 1170.

In the thirteenth century, the abbey was devastated by a huge fire.

The cloister and the choir of the church were rebuilt and vaulted arches.

The abbey flourished until the fourteenth century and then the long decline began.

It is first ruined during the Hundred Years War.

Then the religious wars and the regime of commendatory abbots the emptying of its temporal and spiritual wealth.

In 1572 the abbey has no more than twelve monks, and in 1774 the monastic community consists of only two.

That same year a royal decree assigns it to the Seminar of Angouleme.

But the French Revolution prevented the realization of this project.

In 1791, the abbey buildings were sold as national property, and the church became parochial.

Throughout the nineteenth century, the town is seeking grants to compensate for the ruin of the church.

In 1840 it is classified a historical monument. But it was not until 1897 that an ambitious restoration work began.

In 1935 the cloister and the abbey buildings are classified and in 1973 the town of Saint Amant de Boixe bought and restored it.

Between 2001 and 2005 the site of the abbey was under several archaeological sites.

In 2008 it was inaugurated with Romanesque architecture.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Abbey St Amant Boixe, but I just like to remind you that my site is not a historical site but mainly about the South-West-France.

So, if you find out that some of the history is not quite right I would like to apologise and please let me know about it.

Now you have taken in a bit of the history, maybe it's time to get back to your holiday accommodation, kick back at the pool and soak in the sun.

Maybe start thinking what you can do tomorrow.....

Whatever you will do have some fun....