The Abbey of Val-Richer was founded around 1146 and its abbey-church was consecrated in 1220. Little transformed thereafter, it underwent some work in the 16th century after having been pillaged twice during the Wars of Religion (1562-1598). Abbot Dominique Georges (1651-1693) is considered the main restorer of the abbey. The French Revolution put an end to the monastic life of the abbey in 1791. In 1836, François Guizot, then Minister of Public Instruction, bought the ruins of Val-Richer and restored them.
Notre-Dame du Vœu Abbey is a former monastery of the Augustinian Canons Regular of Saint-Victor. Founded in 1145 by Matilda the Empress, the abbey, far from the stronghold of Cherbourg, was plundered and burnt down several times, then abandoned by the monks before the French Revolution. After a first partial classification in 1913, it has been restored since 1964 and was fully classified as a historic monument by decree on 9 September 2002.
The building is essentially dated to the 12th and 13th centuries, which saw the nave, the choir, then the transept and the lantern tower. A fire led to the reconstruction of the bell tower. In the 19th century, the vaults were reworked.
The cathedral is built on a former Carolingian church, itself on a Gallo-Roman temple. The present building has some elements dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries, but most of the building dates from the 17th period when Louis XIV created the Diocese of Alès to fight the Huguenots.
The Abbey of Pomposa is a 9th-century abbey and one of the most important in Northern Italy. The abbey visible today was consecrated in 1026 by Abbot Guido. At the same time, the monk Guido d'Arezzo (992-1033) conceived the modern musical notation and fixed the names of the musical notes. In 1653, Pope Innocent X suppressed the monastery, which was bought by the Guiccioli family of Ravenna in 1802. At the end of the 19th century, its ownership passed to the Italian state. The oldest part of the adjoining Basilica of Santa Maria dates from the 8th-9th centuries. The bell tower dates back to 1063 and is reminiscent of the Abbey of San Mercuriale in the nearby town of Forlì.
The monastery of San Domenico has been a Benedictine abbey since 1011, and a Cistercian priory since 1222. Monastic life ceased in 1653, but the monastery was repopulated by the Casamari in 1833 and still exists today. The monastery's church has been a parish church since 1935 and has held the title of minor basilica since the celebration of the millennium in 2011. The Cistercian character of the church has been preserved despite the damage caused by earthquakes.
The Abbey of San Mercuriale, also known as the Church of San Mercuriale, is an abbey completed around 1181 in Lombard Romanesque style after the previous structure burnt down in 1173. In the 14th century, the porch was replaced by the Gothic portal that still exists and the two side chapels on the façade were built as an extension of the structure and demolished in 1646. The apse was also rebuilt in 1585. In 1646, extensive reconstruction work was undertaken. The work concerned both the façade and the body of the church, with the aim of creating a well-lit interior environment. The 14th-century connecting portico was also demolished to make room for the two entrances to the side aisles. The tower of the Abbey of San Merculiare, at 75 metres long, is one of the highest in the country.
Notre-Dame de Mouzon Abbey is the former church of the abbey of Mouzon, in the Ardennes in France. The evolution of this abbey in the Middle Ages is linked to the relics sheltered in this place, in particular those of Saint Victor and Saint Arnoul. Object of an ostentatious cult, these relics became sources of material income. The influx of pilgrims imposed the construction of this building, in the 12th and 13th centuries, which was inspired by the first Gothic-style buildings, but already heralded, by certain technical choices, a second generation. The dimensions are relatively small.
The Abbey Church of Otterberg was founded in 1143 by Cistercians as the abbey church of a daughter abbey of the Eberbach monastery. In the 15th century, the monastery slowly declined. In 1504, and in 1525 during the Peasants' War, the monastery was burned and plundered. At the end of the 16th century, the abbey church began to be used simultaneously by the Catholic and Protestant parishes, but not without causing disputes. In 1708, therefore, a separation wall was built between the two spaces. The choir hall with the transept is now used as the Catholic part, the remaining nave as the Protestant part. In 1979, the wall was removed as part of a major renovation, but the structure of the property was not changed.
The Abbey Church of Saint Hugues et Saint Achaire d'Haspres is part of a vast estate: the provostship of Haspres, whose origins go back to the 7th century. Attached to the Abbey of Jumièges in 841 and then to that of Arras in 1024, the provostship is under the authority of a monk. It became an important pilgrimage centre following the arrival of relics of Hugh and Achaire, healers of mental illness, who are symbolized by a spider.
The painted churches of the Troodos Mountains are exceptional examples of the artistic legacy of the Byzantine Empire in Cyprus. With their vibrant biblical scenes imprinted on walls and ceilings, each of the following 10 UNESCO World Heritage churches is a little treasure to visit.
Cemeteries serve as places of eternal rest for the deceased, but they also nourish the living with the historical events, cultural trends and artistic movements and beliefs of the past. The style, history, and peculiarity of the following cemeteries make them some of the most unique in Europe.
Churches are home to amazing artefacts. In some cases, an a priori ordinary object such as the church clock, can become a real highlight, either because of its appearance, operation or the information it provides. Here are six amazing church clocks you must know about in Europe.