Abbaye de Lagrasse

2009 Grant of  $197,000—The Florence Gould Foundation 2008 Grant of $30,000—Southern California Chapter

The Abbaye de Lagrasse, one of the most powerful abbeys in Europe in the Middle Ages, was founded in the 8th century under the protection of Charlemagne. It is a magnificent monument that presents a unique catalogue of architectural styles. In the 14th century, the current church and fortifications were built. The monumental tower was added in the 16th century, while the principal courtyard, monk’s dormitory and the impressive ochre sandstone cloister were added in the 18th century.

During the Revolution, the state seized the abbey, displaced its monks and the property fell into near ruin. A congregation of monks, the Chanmoines Réguliers de la Mère de Dieu, returned in 2004 and rededicated it to its original use. Extensive restorations are planned through 2012 which will be financed thanks to FHS in collaboration with the Florence Gould Foundation and additional matching funds from the region, to restore the cloister. This project is vital to maintaining the stability of the entire structure.