Abondance - HIVER____Discover____Cultural heritage____Abbaye d’Abondance

Abbaye d’Abondance

NEWS

The Abondance Abbey team welcomes you from Monday to Friday 2pm-5pm.

The Abbey is engaged in and subscribes to the initiative Savoie Mont Blanc Excellence

ABONDANCE ABBEY PRESENTATION

VISIT AND DISCOVER THE CHARMS OF THIS 1,000-YEAR-OLD MONUMENT

Pour bannière -Le cloître - Pôle culturel d'Abondance

ABONDANCE ABBEY

A UNIQUE HERITAGE IN HAUTE-SAVOIE

The Abondance Abbey is located in the heart of the mountains, in the Chablais Pre-Alps, between Lake Geneva and the Swiss border.

In 1875, it becomes the first Savoyard structure that is classified a Historic Monument.

Centrepiece to the Pays d’art et d’histoire pays d’Evian – vallée d’Abondance, a title awarded by the Minister of Culture and Communication in 2003, the Abondance Abbey still has its abbey church, cloister and convent buildings.

Founded in the 12th century by the Saint Augustin canons and then occupied by the Cistercian monks from 17th century, the Abondance Abbey was abolished at the end of the 18th century (1761). Still well-preserved it reveals the power of mountain Gothic architecture and conceals marvelous artistic treasures.

You will be greeted by the Abbey’s team and be able to discover all the richness of this site thanks to the numerous activities and attractions.

Abbaye Abondance Les peintures murales du cloître

THE CLOISTER AND ITS FRESCOES

The cloister is a Gothic architectural medieval religious art treasure.

The frescoes that adorn its galleries were painted in the early 15th century. They retrace the Virgin Mary’s life showcased in a medieval Savoy setting.

The diverse and numerous sculptures are made out of sandstone. They show biblical figures, workers in the fields, grotesques and zodiac signs. There may be many painted cloisters in Italy, but in France they are still rare and exceptional.

As Abondance was in the middle of the Savoyard states, it was no doubt visited by a group of Piedmontese artists in order to decorate the walls in the 1430s.

Of the twenty original paintings, six are now clearly identifiable.

With an “Italian” influence, the paintings express people’s thoughts at the beginning of the 15th century, which in the Duchy of Savoy was a period peaking geographically, socially and even economically. The murals are therefore considered to be true testimonies of this time.

Abbaye Abondance Art Sacre

THE EXHIBITION: “FROM HISTORY TO ART: RELIGIOUS HERITAGE IN THE ABONDANCE VALLEY”

You will discover some of the old monastery’s rooms such as the calefactory or the cells.

The collaboration between the Abbey’s team and the Pays d’Art et d’Histoire has led to a unique and fascinating virtual visit, which enables you to explore the Abondance valley’s religious heritage, depicted by the objects and liturgical ornaments from the collection.

From a simple object of personal worship, to the goldsmith pieces protected under the Historic Monuments; from the 12th century deed to the current heritage’s news; from Chevenoz to Châtel, via Bonnevaux, Vacheresse, Abondance and La Chapelle d’Abondance, this exhibition offers you a wide panorama of all the Abondance valley’s religious heritage.

 

THE RELIGIOUS ART COLLECTION

Almost 1,500 objects form the collection, of which a part of it is accessible to the public.
This is how textiles, goldsmithery, paintings, statues, books, and reliquaries, dating from the 15th to the 20th century, are all coexisting.

These 500 years creating ornaments or making objects enable us to understand the evolution of religious art regarding the choice of materials, the “canons” of the Church and the techniques used across the centuries.

Abbaye Abondance Eglise Abbatiale

THE NOTRE DAME DE L'ASSOMPTION ABBEY CHURCH

It recalls the period of splendor that the Abondance Abbey experienced in the Middle Ages, whose fame went beyond the valley’s borders. Its layout proves witness to this, with the presence of an ambulatory and radiating chapels. It is one of the only buildings in Savoy to lay claim to it therefore making it very special. The Abbey’s identity is affirmed by the presence of a bulbous bell tower, typically Savoyard.

In the 19th century, Casimir Vicario turned this church into a masterpiece by creating trompe-l’oeil decorations that adorn the triforium and the choir vaults.
Classified as a Historical Monument, it was the subject of a vast restoration programme between 2002 and 2006.

Access to the church is independent to the Abbey visit. There are no visits during services.
Information concerning the liturgy of the Saint Maurice Parish in the Abondance valley: More info

STAY UPDATED

abbaye brochure été 2022

Check out our programme!

For more information about our visits and events, consult the tab « Calendar ».

The events programme is susceptible to changes – don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

ABONDANCE ABBEY TOURS

Abbaye d'Abondance visite

FREE VISIT

Discover all this site’s treasures at your own pace!
Accessible using a QR-Code.
You can access a mobile phone site using a QR-Code, to browse the Abbey’s different spaces and themes! In French, English and German, discover the cloister (its murals and sculptures), the exhibition of sacred art and the Abbey Church.
For families, Augustin, a mischievous young novice suggests activity games that will take you to every nook and cranny in the Abbey.
Follow the guide…

To prepare your visit beforehand, you can download the brochures below:

Français – Italiano – Español – English – Nederlands – Deutsch – Église

Abbaye Abondance visite commentée

GUIDED TOUR

What could be better than a guided tour to help visitors understand mountain monastery life and appreciate all its artistic riches.

Monday to Friday at 2:30 pm during the French school holidays, not including bank holidays and religious holidays (minimum 4 people).

Abbaye Abondance Visite En Famille

WITH THE FAMILY

WITH YOUR FAMILY, ENJOY THE AREAS AT A LEISURELY PACE

Fun areas and many devices have been set up around the site’s themes: Day in the life of a monk, medieval society, construction materials, fabrics, sacred art, wall frescos and more.

To explore: puzzles, manipulation games, magnetic signs.

Activity bags to borrow (free, ask at reception) “MuséOjeux”: 12 activities to explore the site! On the programme: mime a sculpture or a painted scene, look closely at the details, measure things … or use the monastic sign language.

EXTEND YOUR VISIT AND TAKE A SOUVENIR HOME

If you want to go further and find out more, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the fun activities concocted by the site’s team for young and old:
Coloriages – Coloriages (2) – Calligraphie – Memory – Blason – Imaginez un jardin idéal – Carnets de jeux volume 1 & volume 2 – Cordes à 13 nœuds – Architecture – Une histoire de matériaux – Vitrail, mon beau vitrail – La Journée du Moine

Abbaye Abondance Visite FALC

THE EASY READ VISIT

Accessibility and visits for everyone!

The Abondance Abbey now has its Easy Read visit booklet.
Prepare your visit beforehand with the use of this booklet, bring it with you on the day to help you understand the site and keep it as a souvenir!

Groupe adulte VIP - charpentes

VIRTUAL VISIT

Take a tour of the Abbey church and the monastery’s eves thanks to this virtual tour, click here.
(Click on the top left button and select “other places” the places concerning “Notre-Dame d’Abondance” that interest you)

Or watch the video below!

This video, created by the company MOUSS Films, was co-funded by the Community of Municipalities of the Pays d’Évian – Vallée d’Abondance, and the European Union as part of the PACTA project (Promote Cultural Action in a Region) in the Interreg ALCOTRA programme. This project’s aim is to promote cultural action in an Alpine territory in the context of cross-border cooperation between the Grand Paradis Foundation in the Aosta Valley, the Aulps Valley and Abondance in Haute-Savoie, to encourage meetings and exchanges between Italy and France and enrich the cultural aspects of these regions.

VIRUAL VISIT OF THE MONASTERY'S ROOF STRUCTURE

IN DUO

1 ticket = 2 sites at a discount price! Take advantage of a good deal and visit La Maison du Fromage Abondance and the Abondance Abbey. Discover all aspects of the local heritage from history to tradition.

CHILDREN'S GROUPS

Abbaye Abondance Atelier La palette du peintre

THE PAINTER’S PALETTE

CYCLE 1

A fun way to discover colour. Based on observing the Abbey’s clothes, murals and stained glass windows, children immerse themselves in a world that makes them understand primary colors.
A nursery rhyme, a drawing to complete, stickers, to your palettes!
Length: 2h
Group size: 30 pupils maximum, with four supervisors.

Abbaye Abondance Atelier Autour du Vitrail

STAINED GLASS WINDOWS WORKSHOP

Cycles 2 and 3

The Abondance Abbey’s stained glass windows are recent but they remind us of an entire story in which the techniques have evolved very little. After an interactive presentation of this beautiful art, pupils will be able to make their own stained glass, with paper and Canson!
Interactive panels, material samples, personal creation.
Length: 2h
Group size: 30 pupils maximum, with two supervisors.

Groupes enfant -Giacomo - ©Pôle Culturel d'Abondance

“ON THE LITTLE ANGEL GIACOMO’S TRAIL” GAME

Cycles 2 and 3

On the hunt for the joker angel, each team must answer questions about the different parts of the Abbey: sculptures and frescoes, monastic architecture, life in the Middle Ages and in a monastery.
Length: 2h
Group size: 30 pupils maximum, with two supervisors.

Abbaye Abondance Atelier Drôles de bêtes

“FUNNY CREATURES IN THE ABONDANCE ABBEY” WORKSHOP

Cycles 2 and 3

Lets go on a hunt for hidden animals in the Abbey’s decor. Paintings, sculptures, they are everywhere!
After discovering the medieval beasts, everyone can create their own animal. Cut-out, it will be a part of a mish-mash reconstituting the class’ own imaginary beasts.
Length: 2h
Group size: 30 pupils maximum, with two supervisors.

Visite commentée junior culture abondance

THE ABONDANCE ABBEY DISCOVERY TOUR

Cycles 2 and 3 / High School

An itinerary at the heart of the Abbey site to discover the collection of buildings (their history and architecture), a wealth of artistic artifacts (religious art objects, frescoes), and the religious community life (monastery life). A questionnaire booklet is given to each pupil.
Length: 1h30/2h
Group size: 30 pupils maximum, with two supervisors.

Abbaye Abondance Atelier Petits fresquistes

“YOUNG FRESCO PAINTERS” WORKSHOP

Cycle 2 and 3 / High School

The Abondance Abbey is known for its cloister decorated with magnificent 15th century frescoes. We offer children a presentation of fresco painting techniques and then they create their own fresco once they have prepared their own lime plaster!
Educational dossier, games booklet, material samples, personal creation.
Length: 2h
Group size: 30 pupils maximum, with two supervisors.

Abbaye Abondance muséojeux

MUSÉOJEUX - TEAM ACTIVITY PACK

Game – Discovery

Cycle 3

Using instruction cards and special equipment, and after having visited the site, pupils will be divided into teams to get a better understanding of the particularities of the monastic world.

Length: 2h
Number: 30 pupils with 4 assistants.

Offre Duo Abbaye Abbaye

DUO "OFFER" ABBEY + ABBEY

Discovery Tour + Practical Artistic Workshop

Cycles 2 and 3 / High School

Offre duo maison du fromage + maison du fromage

DUO "OFFER" ABBEY + MAISON DU FROMAGE ABONDANCE

Discovery tours on both sites

Cycles 2 and 3 / High School

Abbaye Abondance Atelier Apprentis copistes

“APPRENTICE SCRIBES” WORKSHOP

Cycle 3 / High School

Pigments, parchments, gold leaf, calligraphy, so many names that evoke the Middle Ages and the monastic scribes in the abbeys.
A 15th century song book is used as a starting point for the pupils to set off and discover this technique thanks to the interactive panels then creating their own work. Panels, personal creation.
Length: 2h
Group size: 30 pupils maximum, with two supervisors.

Abbaye Abondance Atelier Bois Et Pierre

STONES AND WOOD IN ALL THEIR STATES

Discovery tour

High School

Observation du village et lecture de paysage, voici le point de départ de cette proposition qui permettra aux élèves de mieux appréhender un territoire, ses ressources et d’identifier les matériaux de construction, notamment ceux utilisés à l’Abbaye d’Abondance.

ALL ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN'S GROUPS

You can find all these activities in our catalogue.

VISITS FOR ADULT GROUPS

Abbaye d'Abondance visite libre groupe adulte

INDEPENDENT VISIT

Discover the Abbey site at your own pace: enjoy a meditative break in the cloister and submerge yourself in the exceptional universe of the 15th century frescoes. Next explore the exhibition “From History to Art: Religious Heritage in the Abondance Valley” that includes a collection of treasures from the site (liturgical objects and clothes). A documentary film by Fabrice Ferrari “Restore and Conserve – Abondance Abbey” puts the Abbey in the spotlight and shows the necessary actions for keeping the site up and running (20 minutes). Visit aids (in French and foreign languages) are available to provide you with key points to discover the site.

visite commentée de l'abbaye d'abondance

GUIDED TOUR OF THE ABBEY

Let us to tell you about the Abondance Abbey’s  history.
Discover the Abbey church from its remarkable architecture to its surprising frescoes. Wander around the cloister and admire the Gothic architecture of this incredible courtyard where the Holy men used to walk, and discover the secrets of the 15th century paintings that adorn it.

Next you may explore the exhibition “From History to Art: Religious Heritage in the Abondance Valley”, installed in the old monastery. A documentary film by Fabrice Ferrari “Restore and Conserve – Abondance Abbey” puts the Abbey in the spotlight and shows the necessary actions for keeping the site up and running (20 minutes). Disabled access with a ramp to enter the church and cloister, but the cloister’s flooring is difficult without assistance.

Abbaye Abondance Charpentes

FROM THE ABBEY'S FOUNDATIONS UP TO THE EVES: THE MONSTAERY'S EVES

Just like the experts, explore the roof carpentry and it will reveal its secrets to you! Climb the 44 steps which lead you under the monastery’s framework. Observe this majestic monument’s carpentry in detail to identify all its evolutions. Benefit from this privileged time to appreciate the various restoration and consolidation interventions.
With our mediator, smell, touch and retrace nearly 300 years of work, thanks to this amazing visit… unlike any other!

AN ABBEY FULL OF COLOUR

Step into the shoes of an apprentice fresco painter… you are going to see in multicolours!
Our mediator will show you all the observation tricks for decoding all the cloister’s details. And why not have a go at your own sketch and reveal the artist in you!

Fresco techniques, colours and restorations will have no secrets for you after this visit, unique in its kind!

Abbaye Abondance Les coulisses de l'Abbaye Reserve Du Musée

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE ABBEY

Slip alongside the curator and go behind the scenes at the museum.
Stroll through the very heart of the reserves to find sculptures, books and goldsmithery. Contemplate the Abbey’s large textile collection with our mediator who will reveal their conservation secrets. Close to the works, take part in doing the inventory: observe, count, dust off, and describe. This visit reveals this passionate profession… a unique visit!

Production fromage Abondance

“DUO” OFFER: 1 TICKET = 2 SITES

One ticket to visit the Abbey and the Maison du Fromage Abondance
Independent visit: €7.50 per person
Guided tour: €11.50 per person
A free tasting (white wine/apple juice and Abondance cheese) is provided at the Maison du Fromage Abondance.

ALL ACTIVITIES FOR ADULT GROUPS

You can find all these activities in our catalogue.

practical information

OPENING TIMES

From 20 December 2021 to 30 April 2022 :
Monday to Friday from 2pm to 5pm
In May, June and September 2022 :
every day from 9.30am to 12pm and from 2pm to 6pm
In July and August :
Every day from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 6pm
From 1 October to 4 November 2022 :
Monday to Friday from 2pm to 5pm

Annual closure from 5 November to 18 December 2022
Closed on 25 December and 1 January.

Prices

ENTRANCE: €5 (reduced rate*: €4)
DUO (2 sites): €7.50
ADDITIONAL “guided tour”: €2.50 (6-18 years: €2)
ANIMATIONS: €7.50
WORKSHOP: €6

FREE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 6 YEARS OLD

*Reduced price: students, jobseekers, people with disabilities, families (1 adult + 1 child) and RM Abondance package.

Advantages granted on presentation of specific cards (contact us for more information).
Free entry on presentation of the ” Multipass “.

Maison Du Fromage Abbaye Abondance Acces

ACCES

Take the D902 from Lake Geneva’s shores towards Abondance valley (27km, approx. 30 minutes).

The entrance to the site is located at Place de l’Abbatiale, in the village centre.

Nearby: free parking, charging terminal for electric cars, bike park and “Flot Bleu” welcome area.

Abbaye Abondance Accessibilite

ACCESSIBILITY

The cloister and exhibition spaces are only accessible to people with reduced mobility if they are accompanied (there are a few steps to access the monastery and the ground has rounded stones).

The Abbey Church is entirely accessible.

Depuis septembre 2021, l’Abbaye d’Abondance est labellisée S3A (Symbole d’Accueil, d’Accompagnement et d’Accessibilité).

CONTACT THE ABONDANCE ABBEY

Place de l’Abbatiale
74360 ABONDANCE
Tel : 04 50 81 60 54