FRANCE 24 (March 21, 2023) – Once important seats of Christian worship, and now treasures of the country’s heritage, French abbeys often have surprising histories. That’s the case of Fontevraud abbey, in the former duchy of Anjou. Run by a woman during its heyday, the abbey was turned into a prison after the French Revolution.
In Alsace, the abbey of Mont Sainte-Odile is famous for its supposedly miraculous spring water. Finally, on the outskirts of Montpellier, Valmagne abbey used to be a wine cellar. Visitors can still observe the gigantic barrels that were once used to store thousands of litres of wine.