A little history of Bonneval abbey
Guillaume d'Olt foundation
Back in the 12th century. Guillaume de Calmont-d'Olt, bishop of Cahors, was a proud lord. He loved galloping through meadows, hunting! But one day, his horse nearly unseated him and sent him into wild river Lot, from a terribly high bridge!
Phew, he escaped alive... but he was thoughtful: it was a real miracle! Guillaume felt that someone, up there, protected him. So, to say thank you, he decided to raise a monastery!
He sent 7 monks from Mazan abbey, who came in 1147. Little by little, other monks came and they raised the church, the monastery, the religious buildings.
The place was called Boralde valley, but they renamed it Bona vallis, Bonneval ("nice valley"), because the place was lovely... Guillaume left his bishop seat and ended his life in his abbey. His masterpiece!
Wars... and chocolate!
Hundred Years War, wars of religion and armed crooks often plundered the abbey, for centuries.
But what’s worse than wars and men’s madness? Commendatory abbots! Abbots elected by kings, who stole all the abbey income and let monks bloodless...
Sold during the Revolution, Bonneval welcomed Cistercian nuns in 1870. They restored the place and created their own chocolate factory: nowadays they still make chocolates, based on a traditional recipe!