A little history of Saint-Jean-d'Angely royal abbey
The former abbey founded in the 9th century, plundered by Normans and Vikings, was entirely demolished. At that time, it housed saint John the Baptist's head, a relic brought back here by king of Aquitaine Pépin.
The abbey was rebuilt in 942. Since then, Angeriacum (former name of the city) became rich and prosperous, thanks to the abbey and its relics: pilgrims stopped here on the road to Compostela.
The monastery became affiliated to Cluny order in 1018. In the 14th century, they rebuilt it, then wars of Religion came and damaged it.
The building of the current abbey started in 1622: the cloister (1644) was demolished but we still can see the infirmary and the dormitory, raised between 1667 and 1672.
Saint-Jean church, put up between 1608 and 1615, has two towers (35 metres high), raised between 1751 and 1756 on the foundations of the former church. Those towers were never completed!
During the French Revolution, the abbey used to be a jail.