A little history of Solesmes abbey
In 1010, a small monastery was built by the lord of Sablé, Geoffroy, nicknamed "the Old Man".
He re-raised two churches in Sablé, Our-Lady and Saint-Martin, but also founded this abbey for his redemption. Solesmes was the perfect place, so he decided to own the estate from his brother Raoul, viscount of Maine. He invited bishop of Le Mans and bishops of Angers for the inauguration.
You may notice that the abbey is pretty modern: buildings were recently restored. The church was completely transformed too.
Well, a man called Dom Béranger did this, when he bought the ruined abbey in 1832.
The building site immediately began: they needed to extend Solesmes because more than 60 monks lived there! They built cells on the basement and added a floor to the abbot's dwelling house...