Pons de l’Héras, a knight and brigand, renounced all evil, joined the Order of Cistercians and founded this abbey in 1132.
Following the Cistercian "tradition", the place was "in the middle of nowhere". For a short time, the abbey prospered, but life was not easy here. After the Hundred Years War, the abbey´s economic declined rapidly and from 1477 on was under Commende, run by secular priests.
After the French Revolution the very last monks fled – and the buildings were sold as National Property. Prosper Mérimée listed the ensemble already 1854, but that did not help. Most buildings got demolished. The remaining structures were used as barns, the church was used by the parish. The "rediscovery" started in 1969/1970, when two Dominican monks found out about the exceptional acoustic of the church. Since then many things changed. The renovation got underway, an organ got installed – and now this is a renowned center for "sacred music".
The abbey has in interesting website (in French):
Credit goes to Flickr (Martin M. Miles ) for this mind blowing evil building. Original date: 2012-05-15 09:07:09
Tagged: , Abbaye de Sylvanès , Pons de l’Héras , Hundred Years War , French Revolution , Prosper Mérimée , sacred music , Midi-Pyrénées , Aveyron , 12 , France , Cistercians