Located in the heart of Hérault, within 10 minutes drive of the Thau lagoon, St. Mary Valmagne Abbey is one of the most beautiful monuments of the Languedoc. This Cistercian abbey founded in the early twelfth century under the leadership of Beziers Vicomte is distinguished by its beautiful architecture, exquisite vineyards and its cultural program.
Villeveyrac looks at first glance an ordinary Occitan town of barely 3,800 inhabitants. However, it is attended each year by thousands of visitors discover an architectural gem, Valmagne Abbey. Its construction was ordered in 1138 by the Viscount of Beziers, Raymond Trencavel. It became at the time one of the most beautiful Cistercian abbeys in the south of France. It gradually fell into neglect after the Hundred Years War, the Black Death and the Wars of Religion. She then became the robbers hut and was sacked during the Revolution. Bought by the Count de Turenne in 1838, it now belongs to the same family. It was partly historic monument in 1947 and opened to the public in 1975.
It is now possible to visit the church, the cloister, the chapter house, refectory, the fountain and the vineyards of the Abbey Valmagne. The free tour or audio guide (1h to 1h30) is closed during the opening hours of the cellar with a tasting of wines produced on site. The field is located in the countryside, in a green and peaceful setting. The Gothic-style church has a beautiful nave of seven bays and opening nine chapels. His sobriety recalls the Cistercian rigor, and the rejection of any deemed unnecessary decoration. The chapter house where the monks go every morning, is one of the oldest parts of the abbey.
The rich soil was one of the reasons that pushed the Cistercian monks to build their abbey at this location. For nearly a millennium, they work the earth in the greatest respect for the terroir. You can during your visit to taste the fruit of this tradition by tasting of wines, beers and digestive
In 2019, the abbey St. Mary Valmagne in Villeveyrac opens its doors to visitors:
The price of general admission is 8.50 € for adults and 5 € for children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years (free for children under 5 years). A reduced rate is available to job seekers, students and people with disabilities (7 €), as well as groups of over 20 people (8 € with tasting, € 7 without tasting).
Want to eat on site to extend your visit? The farm of the abbey Valmagne welcomes you and invites you to enjoy organic and gourmet dishes made with products from the garden and the vegetable field. It offers regular interesting activities such as workshops for adults and children, tasting sessions and lectures, as well as tours and evening concerts during the summer months.
Continue your cultural exploration of Herault in entering the castle of Castries near Montpellier.