Just 10 minutes from the Domaine du Lambon, in the commune of Celles-sur-Belle, take the time to visit the Royal Abbey of Celles, a jewel in the crown of local heritage.
A dive into the history of the Deux-Sèvres
Formerly a place of pilgrimage on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, this impressive abbey built by François "Toscane" Le Duc was classified as a historic monument in 1977. Since then, the cloister buildings have been completely restored and bear witness to the magnificence of the first abbey that stood here between the 11th and 16th centuries, destroyed during the Wars of Religion.
The large refectory and the old kitchens stand alongside a beautiful ambulatory leading to the "Salle du Pilier" and the crypts of the former parish church.
The massive building is a jewel in the crown of the Deux-Sèvres' historical heritage. In addition to the visit to the abbey, which offers an amazing insight into the eventful history of this monument, a museum is accessible from the first floor. It consists of the abbot's room, a place where illustrious historical figures have visited, and a reconstructed monastic cell with a model room and various collections of religious objects.
The abbey's parks and gardens: a journey through the centuries
The abbey park is no exception to the "Jardin à la Française" rule: inspired by François Le Duc in the 17th century, then created in the 1990s following the site's classification as a historic monument, the gardens offer long walks in the calm and serenity of the abbey of Celles-sur-Belle. Near the mill, take a few hours to discover the "Curé's Garden" with its medicinal plants, as well as the "Jardin aux Insectes", dedicated to biodiversity and the preservation of nature and its microcosm.
Around the abbey
The discovery of the abbey can be accompanied by a diversion to a museum dedicated to old motorbikes, or to the Saint-Maixent church in Verrines-sous-Celles, which is a high point of Romanesque architecture. The abbey of Celles-sur-Belle is also part of the life of the commune: in addition to the educational visits that it organises and the privatisation of the place for events, the abbey offers a beautiful framework for exhibitions for artists throughout the year, and organises festivals and concerts. It is always a lively place, where it is good to spend a moment during a tourist visit to the Deux-Sèvres.