Friday, 10 May 2013

A date with an Abbey

As of the first of May JC suddenly decided to change the status of our relationship. I'm now trying to adjust to a situation that is very ambiguous. He's still interested in spending time with me and invited me to visit the Abbey Vaux le Cernay in the Vallee de Chevreuse.

It's now a collection of hotels, restaurants and conference rooms but hundreds of years ago it was a Cistercian abbey.

The weather was pleasant as I strolled around ruins and gardens, fountains and birds, statues and wildflowers.

Here's a potted history from their website:

1118: Founding of the Vaux-de-Cernay Abbey by a group of monks from Savigny Abbey (in Manche).

1147: Affiliation with the Order of Cistercian. The estate decides to enter into a self-sufficient life: water is used to drink, for fish farming to provide food, for sanitation and energy for the mill.

1226 - 1247: Abbatiate of Thibault of Marly and zenith of the monastery.

14th Century: Decline of the intellectual and material life.

15th Century: Abandonment of the building after the 100-year-war.

16th Century: Attempts at rectifications. Reconstruction of the south gallery and monastery.

17th Century: Repair and maintenance of buildings, spiritual revival.

18th Century: Considerable construction at the start of the century then abbey debilitated by heavy costs.

1791: Sale of abbey furnishings and property.

1873: Acquisition of the park and buildings, which had been used as a quarry since the revolution, by Baron Nathaniel Rothschild. Reconstruction of the estate.

1945: Purchased by Mr Amiot, airplane constructor. The estate served as a research ground for over thirty years.

1988: Bought by Mr Savry. The estate is redeveloped as a high-class hotel and restaurant.

1989: After 6 months of construction, Vaux de Cernay joins the ‘hotels particuliers’ group. Architecture: refurbished as a high-quality hotel/restaurant, Vaux Cernay Abbey regains its vocation in hospitality.

 You can stay over, dine in various restaurants but it's very expensive to do anything. A lovely setting, picnics are prohibited.

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