With its extremely rich artistic and cultural heritage, a mere visit to the Abbey of Solesmes is an emotional experience in itself, but you will be totally overwhelmed if you attend a service of Gregorian chant performed by the sixty or so monks who occupy the abbey today.
While many monuments now open their doors to visitors purely from a heritage point of view, places like the Abbey of Solesmes remain true to their original vocation and guarantee a particularly moving experience. Every day at 10 am the monks give thanks for their immense talent by offering a Conventual Sung Mass. The legacy of past centuries combined with the special acoustics of the abbey church promise you an unforgettable emotional experience. The abbey is now one of the centres of Gregorian chant.
Gregorian chant isn’t the only cultural treasure of the Abbey of Solesmes, the site is also home to many works of art, including sculptures representing many Catholoic saints. Visitors can see relief carvings. The organ is located at the far end of church and it has 39 stops inspired by the great organs of northern Europe.
It is located three kilometres from Sablé-sur-Sarthe, overlooking the river that runs through the region, and boasts imposing architecture. The Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Solesmes is composed of several buildings in addition to the main church.
The priory, chapter house and the cloister are arranged around a beautiful courtyard garden where silence reigns.
Very carefully manicured like the most beautiful French-style gardens, this garden symbolizes the order that prevails in the abbey. It is located twenty minutes from the Château des Briottières by car and is the perfect way to escape the pace of modern life. Many people, from celebrities to ordinary folk, flock here on retreat.
Outside the buildings is another garden protected from prying eyes by a covering of trees. When you return to the church, take time to admire the stained glass windows that filter the daylight in a mystical manner. The library holds more than 200,000 volumes. Some particularly rare books are real treasures.
Abbaye Saint-Pierre de Solesmes, Solesmes, France