The old fortified monastery was built in 1073 by the Abbot of Lérins, Aldebert, on ancient Roman foundations. The fort was located on a small spit of land on the southern coast to protect the monks from Saracen pirates.
The stone stairway giving access to the 4-meter high entrance is a modern additon; the original access was by a ladder that could be pulled up when everybody was inside.
St Honorat Monastery
The Cistercian monastery (also called the St Honorat Abbey) is the key attraction on St Honorat. This "modern" monastery is from the 19th century, but incorporates older buildings from the 11th and 12th centuries.
Very limited parts of the monastery are open to visitors: only the gift shop, with its long row of arches, and the church. The church entrance area and the grounds are lovely. The large gift shop the features, among the books, postcards and religious trinkets, the wines and liqueurs (Lerina) made by the monks.