Saturday, 12 October 2013

Vauluisant Abbey

Vauluisant Abbey was founded in 1127 by Cistercian monks in the forests of the Alain valley.  The river Alain flows south past Vauluisant to join with the waters of the Vanne, a tributary of the Yonne, the broad stately river that flows through Sens.

Map showing the location of Vauluisant Abbey in Yonne

The abbey provided work for foresters, and as a young man Xavier Fortin, himself a forester’s son, worked in the woods surrounding Vauluisant Abbey.  

Letellier de Louvois’ 1692 plan of Vauluisant Abbey

The Alain provided water for the fish farm (to the right of the plan above).  A dovecote (the tower to the left) with a rotating cone of ladders at its centre allowed the monks to collect eggs for the kitchen.  Also to be found within the grounds were orchards and vegetable gardens.  Before Fortin’s arrival at the abbey the monks there, over the centuries, had enjoyed periods of expansion and prosperity, these interrupted by attacks on the abbey – notably during the religious wars of the 16th C, when the buildings were looted on several occasions.   During the Revolution, the monks were thrown out of the abbey, the latter becoming a vast demolition site.

Vauluisant in present times
Photograph © Peter Alexander Gray 2009

Much restoration has taken place since those times.  I would like very much to express my gratitude to Madame Demoulin, the present owner, and her wonderful team of guides, for giving me a private tour of the grounds and buildings of Vauluisant Abbey during my visit there in 2009.

Note: This blog supports readers of The Door of Perarolo, a historical novel set in Cadore, Italy in the early nineteenth century.  You may examine feedback from readers in the UK here and in the US here.  The Door of Perarolo is a Kindle ebook comprising 140 chapters.  It can be downloaded from Amazon sites worldwide.  The launch post of this blog gives further details.  The second post provides links to maps, etc.

1 comment:

  1. I like the strong visual content of this post - fascinating to see that the Abbey is still there and looking beautiful