A little history of l'Ile-Chauvet abbey

The abbeyThe abbey | ©Antoine Meissonnier / CC-BY-SA

The old abbey seems to float over swamps of Vendée, between Brittany and Poitou... In the past, it used to be on an island! The island Chauvet...

A perfect place, far from all human activities: Benedictine monks could pray and work in peace. Our story began with monks from Absie abbey (near La Rochelle), who founded the abbey in 1130.

Immediately lords of La Garnache embellished it and gave him presents. But several incidents troubled it: for instance, in 1588, captain Granville’s troops burnt it... Then lord of Soubise Benjamin de Rohan expelled monks and called Protestants soldiers.

Finally, abbot of Saint-Denis from Reims, Henri Cauchon de Maupéas came in order to manage the abbey: he put here monks from Camaldule order, in 1653: an order who looked like Benedictine rule...

In short, our monks started to restore buildings and also laid out gardens, with two canals, one with fresh water in order to irrigate the farming, the other one with salt water... they made salt with it!

The Romanesque church, the dormitory, kitchens with a bakery, cellars are the only vestiges of the abbey... and you can visit them!