The Holy Trinity Abbey in Vendôme (41), France.

The building of the minster was as rapid, some thisty years, as it was ambitious. All that remains of this hige construction (70 meters) lais out in the shape of a Latin cross in 1060-70 are the transept walls. Other features show the embellishment of the abbey in the 12 th century, like the “window of our Lady”, the frescos in the chapter house and the bell tower.

At the beginning of the 13 th century, Holy Trinity abbey wanted to gain a reputation as a stopover, close to St Martin’s tomb in Tours, on the pilgrims’ road to Santiago de Compostela. The transept was they given coloured vaulting and decorative carvings.

In 1271, abbot Renaud IV launched the contruction of a new minster to replace the Romanesque church.

From 1320 / 25, the two spans in the nave, closest to the transept were rebuilt , they were completed in 1357.

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In the 17 th century, Maurist Benedictines moved into the abbey. The south wing of the cloister is the most outstanding example of their work.

The abbey building retained their original functions untill the French revolution. On the east side were the dorter and the chapter house, to the south the refectory, the monks’ cells and the novices’ cells, and on the west side the accomodation. Only the north gallery flanking the church was saved from the demolition planned by the army in 1907. A fragance garden enhances the cloister garth.

When the French revolution broke out in 1789, the monks left the abbey. In 1803, the old monastery was taken over by the army. An indoor riding ring, stables and barracks were then added to this major cavalry depot, witch took the name of Rochambeau district in 1886.

Nowadays, the building surrounding the old cloister house is hosting , the museum, the music school and a number of cultural associations. The cloister garth is used for free concerts in the summer.

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