UNESCO Heritage List
Visitor's Rating: (1.5 out of 4/Number of Votes:2)
Cadouin Abbey was founded in 1115 initially as a simple hermitage by Géraud de Salles. The church, the sacristy and the foundations of the rest of the convent building date from that time.
In 1119 the hermitage becomes one of the first monasteries affiliated to the Cistercian order as a new branch springing from the Pontigny abbey, the Cistercian order being a tree like organization.
The Cistercian order is a Christian monastic order, which originated with the foundation of the Citeaux abbey by Robert de Molesme in 1098. It is an order that preaches the living rules of Saint Benedict that imply asceticism and liturgical rigor - 7 prayer times per day - centered around manual work as a cardinal value.
The church of the abbey, which was consecrated in 1154, was built in an austere Romanesque architectural style, in keeping with the sobriety of the preaching of the Cistercian order (the churches lack also the bell tower considered as a sign of conspicuous power).
The austerity that characterized the beginnings faded with time and the abbey was added in the late 15th century a flamboyant gothic style cloister. The monastic life at Cadouin stopped in 1790 during the French revolution.
The Cadouin Abbey is now listed on the UNESCO's World Heritage list along with the other abbeys on the Route to Saint Jacques de Compostelle.
February, March, November, December open every day except Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-12:30pm/2pm-5pm.
April, May, June, September, October open every day except Tuesday from 10am to 1:Oopm /2:00pm-6:00pm.
July and August open every day from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
One word: impressive!
We visted the abbey this summer. I did not find it as impressive as they describe it in the flier from the tourist office. And it is a little out of the main roads of Dordogne. Just my opinion.