The Abbaye of Thoronet was the first Cistercian monastery in Provence, so most of the buildings date from the 12th century. They exhibit that classical calm and stripped down elegance that much 12th century religious architecture has. A meditative clarity that is refreshing and restorative for those of us surrounded by adverts, traffic and noise. I love it and have been there several times – I usually try to find a quiet spot in a corner and do some painting: here are a couple from 2007
And a window with the strong Provençal sun shining behind it:
The Abbey is in what one might call Central Provence, south of the Verdon Gorge and North East of Toulon – around an hour’s drive from Aix en Provence, and is well worth a visit. And while you’re there, you may as well pop in to the nearby Domaine de l’Abbaye where they can sell you an excellent Rosè.