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A visit to the great Cistercian abbeys generally allows, in addition to discovering the beauty of the architecture and its environment, to get an idea of the life from the 12th to the 15th centuries of these great communities of men or women who chose to live outside the world and devote themselves to prayer and work.

In Varennes, on the other hand, most of the buildings having been amputated or transformed, one can get an idea today of what, four or five centuries after their foundation and up to the Revolution, had become of these monasteries in which only a prior lived surrounded by a few monks, largely occupied with the management of the agricultural and forest estates.

Maison de l’abbé, 1698-1700.JPG

Abbot's house, 1698-1700

Façade de l’église (XIIème) et maison du

Facade of the church (12th century) and house of the prior

(XIIIth and XVIIIth)



The Varennes abbey church is open every year for individual visits from 1 July to 1 September, every day from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Individual visits are free, with maps and explanatory panels installed in the church.

The church is also open to the public during the European Heritage Days in mid-September.

Guided tours can be organised for groups of twenty or more people between 1 May and 30 September by appointment in advance on

Individuals or groups, visits are free.

Individual visits last on average 15 minutes. Guided tours last approximately 30 minutes.

The visits allow the public to see from the outside all the former buildings of the monastery, most of which are now used for residential purposes, and to access the interior of the church.

The configuration of the premises (stairs) does not allow access to the interior of the church for people with disabilities or who have difficulty moving around.

Varennes receives an average of 1,200 visitors per year.


Small book presenting the Royal Abbey of Notre-Dame de Varennes, 32 pages

Book for sale on the spot at 5 €.

This book can be sent to you on request with your contact details and a cheque for 10 € made out to Gilles Wolkowitsch and sent to Les Amis de l’Abbaye de Varennes,

C/o Gilles Wolkowitsch, 15 avenue Paul Doumer, 75116 Paris, France

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