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Fontfroide Abbey (11)

The tranquility of a Cistercian abbey, in the middle of nature. 10 minutes from Narbonne, by car, on the road to Carcassonne via Lagrasse. Historic monument, Grand Site d'Occitanie, Gardens classified as "Remarkable Garden" and Refuge LPO, are the words that describe this consecrated place: the Sainte-Marie de Fontfroide abbey. It owes its name "Fontfroide" to the stream that crosses it fons frigida (Fresh water), in its name in Latin.

During the Albigeois Crusade, she was the spearhead of the Catholic orthodoxy in the face of Cathar heresy. In the 14th century, one of its abbots, Jacques Fournier, was elected pope under the name of Benedict XII. The abbey is classified from 1862 as a historic monument. Today, Fontfroide Abbey is a member of the Charter of Cistercian abbeys and sites in Europe.

The Fontfroide Abbey is currently a private monument owned by the descendants of Gustave and Madeleine Fayet (painter and collectors).

From a reliable source, I have heard that the tour guided by a speaker is enriching, the theatrical tour, which I tested, is fun and good-natured. Certain puns, of value, teach us the etymology of certain expressions, like “having a voice in the chapter” for example.

To see:

• Walks on the paths around the abbey.

• The church has the proportions of a cathedral.

• The cloister.

• The chapter room.

• Living rooms (old kitchen...)

• The large outdoor esplanade, where works are exhibited.

• The botanical garden and the floral park.

Please note:

The Last Duel by Ridley Scott was partly filmed in Fontfroide, just before confinement (March 2020) (wikipedia).

Personal anecdote: I am also a fiction director and via my network, I tried to contact the production for filming in France, as soon as I heard about the project. Impossible to get an answer. I had a stand in Fontfroide, for “Augmented Souvenirs” for the ADT show (Aude Tourism Agency), the day before the official scouting day.

I met an assistant director-spotter, he didn't want to give me any information... I tried the extra casting, but I was rejected in the parking lot because I didn't have enough hair (I'm a little bald, it's true...), I still left a card, they never called me back... I contacted an acquaintance who was looking for a maintenance agent for the shoot, we asked me to come and clean the extras' toilets on D-day. I hesitated (there is no such thing as a stupid job), and I might have done it in another context, but here, I wanted to take part in the filming adventure. , not cleaning the toilets without being able to see the filming…

There you go, I hope I have made you want to discover the Abbey of Fontfroide or to come back, but in any case, to keep a wonderful augmented memories.


Walk on October 8, 2017. Orchid Festival.


Walk of August 11 2022. The epic, dramatized visit.


Photo, video, text, audio credits: “Augmented memories” / Rayon de lune éditions.Copying prohibited without authorization. All rights reserved.




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