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On Guilhem de Gellone's footsteps

The abbey | Nicolas Jantel / CC-BY-SA
Abbey Benedictine Gellone abbey

Our abbey is located in Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert... A desert, really? Sure, because the monastery was founded in a very hostile place...

Guilhem (who gave his name to the place) was born in 755. He was king Charles Martel's grandson! And he drew attention to Charlemagne, who named it prince of Orange.

Guilhem owned lands in this area of Hérault departement, which was called val de Gellone ("Gellone valley"). Oh, he just liked the place... an ideal site to raise a monastery!

Guilhem wanted a monastery so bad... why? Because his wife had just passed away? Probably... He immediately moved in with few monks, bringing with them a piece of the Holy Cross...

So they started to clear of brambles and irrigate the place, until Guilhem died in 812.

An abbot church was raised in the 11th century. And the holy relic attracted pilgrims, on their way to Compostela! Our abbey was very prosperous during the Middle-Ages.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!