Abbaye du Thoronet
Commission for le Centre des Monuments Nationaux (Fr)
The "jewel" of Cistercian abbeys. Built between 1160 and 1230, Le Thoronet Abbey, together with Silvacane and Sénanque, is one of three Cistercian abbeys in Provence. In danger of falling into disrepair after the French Revolution, restoration work began on this masterpiece in 1841.
An example for contemporary architecture. Generations of architects were inspired by the purity and simplicity of the internal space, dictated mainly by the organisation of community life. Le Corbusier visited the site in 1953 and wrote: "In these days of ‘raw concrete’, however fêted, welcome and blessed it may be, this was such a marvellous encounter along the way."
Centre des Monuments Nationaux