A little history of Montmajour abbey
The tradition says this powerful abbey was founded in the Merovingian era. Aah, the tradition...
In fact, Benedictine monks used to live in the middle of this swampy land, on a hill which belonged to church of Arles' provost.
But a woman named Teucinde owned the land in order to give it to the monks, in 949: the abbey was founded!
Emperors, kings and rich noblemen gave it lots of wealth and privileges: it was even annexed to the Holy See, in 963!
First buildings date back to the 10th century, but unfortunately, nothing remains.
From the 11th to the 12th centuries were raised: church Our-Lady and its crypt, the cloister, chapels Saint-Pierre and Sainte-Croix.
The cloister remained unfinished for a long time, and was only completed in the beginning of the 14th century.
In 1369, abbot Pons de l'Orme raised a tower which defended the abbey: do you see it? This fortified tower isolated from the church, crowned by crenelated and machicolation...
In 1703, monks laid down the first stone of new buildings... but they didn't alter the church... because they had financial problems!
In 1786, with the Revolution, the abbey was sold and buildings were used as a quarry...