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Ganagobie Monastery

Prieuré de Ganagobie - Provence Beyond


Gallery of 11 photos for Ganagobie Monastery

The prieuré (monastery) was founded in the 10th century, owned first by the Bishops of Sisteron, who donated it to the Abbey of Cluny in 956. In the 12th century, the Benedictines built the church and the Romanesque cloistures. Up to the 14th century, a small group of about a dozen monks still worked the land and the nearby forest.

Ganagobie | Ganagobie Monastery | Alaunium | Dominici Affaire | Lurs | Bridges |

Ganagobie is an active Monastery, and not primarily a tourist site. The surrounding location is a lovely place to visit, with beautiful woods walks, and a great view out over the valley. The monastery church has religious services (mass) during the morning, every day, and is open to everyone for that purpose.

The Ganagobie Monastery church is open for tourist visits only in the afternoons, from 15h00 to 17h00. There is a very nice boutique (gift shop) that's also open in the afternoons, but closed on Mondays. During the summer, the boutique is also open from 10h30 to 11h45.

There's a handy yellow postbox on the outside wall of the boutique, so if you buy a postcard you can post it directly from the site.

Historical

The monastery was considered important until the 15th century, and the monks of Lérins (see Iles de Lérins) brought their relics here for safety from coastal raiders.

The monastery was taken by force in 1491 by the 5th Abbey of Cluny. It had a rocky road from then on, being assulted by various groups and changing owners frequently especially during the French Revolution. The domaine was given to the Benedictine monks of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine of Marseille at the end of the 19th century.

Carefully restored, the main doorway (portail) of the monastery's Notre-Dame church is the finely carved original, in the Provencal-Romanesque style. The church houses some fine religious items dating back to the 12th century, but also some locally-discovered archeologique artifacts, and the lid of a Carolingien sarcophage.

[picsmaps]ganagobie-route001bb250.jpg Ganagobie Route Map The route to the top from the main road isn't very long (3.6 km), and not really dangerous, but if you're not comfortable with driving on narrow roads, it's not for you. The road to the top is nicely paved, in good condition, and has lovely scenery, but it's very narrow (mostly one-car wide), and has many tight hairpin bends. And it's two-way! Everybody drives slowly and politely, but you might possibly have to reverse to a wide spot to let an oncoming car pass. And, once at the top, you'll have to come down again. We love driving like this; it's a social experience as much as anything, but it's not for everybody.

Hiking

The GR 653D (Grande Randonnée) passes directly past the Ganagobie Monastery. There is a water faucet available near the boutique building.

From the south, the GR653D pretty much follows the road up the side of the hill, with some shortcuts through the trees. At the bottom, beside the Pont Romain, the GR trail follows the narrow, twisty road to the west, and then south along a forest ridge to the village of Lurs.

To the north, the GR653D drops down to the Durance valley at the village of Peyruis, and heads north in the direction of Sisteron.

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