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Sénanque abbey, the origin of the name

The abbey | Mikster Watkinsons / CC-BY-SA
Abbey Cistercian Sénanque abbey

With abbeys of Silvacane and Thoronet, Sénanque is one of the "three Cistercians sisters" in Provence!

12 monks founded it in 1148 and they called it sana aqua, "pure water", which later became Sénanque. Maybe because they found a little stream, here...

An 1150 charter mentioned lords of Simiane as first benefactors. Our abbey flourished: in the Middle Ages, 60 friars and more lived in Sénanque!

But in the 14th century, that was another story: the monastery declined; burnt by Vaudois in the 16th century, the Southern wind was re-raised in 1600. It was sold during the French Revolution: the new owner restored it entirely.

Thanks to this man, we can visit the chapter room, the room where monks warmed up near the chimney (the only place where they could do that, because they were not allowed to warm up when they were praying or working), the dormitory, the refectory...

In the dormitory, like all Cistercian abbeys in the Middle Ages, friars slept with their clothes on straw-filled mattress, separated from their neighbours by a little wall...

About the the author

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