Thursday Doors – At the End of the Tunnel

We’re visiting another abbey for my Thursday Doors post this week but this time it is not a ruin but a functioning monastery. The wonderful buildings of the Abbey of Saint Etienne, founded in the year 1003, were home until 3 years ago to 6 missionary monks of the order of Saint Theresa.  These 6 rather elderly fellows have recently been succeeded, after the sale of the monastery, by 3 new monks who I was amazed to read in a newspaper article are all aged under 35.  I confess I imagined the monastic life to be a disappearing phenomenon even here in France but perhaps not.

On the day I visited the sun was incredibly bright and played amazing tricks with the light and shadows on the stones in the gothic tunnel which leads to the cloisters. Despite the magnificent entrance, my favourite door was the simple wooden one bathed in light at the end of the tunnel…………

Bassac 2

Bassac 2-6

Bassac Cloister view

Bassac 2-3

Bassac 2-2

Thanks as always to Norm Frampton for this excellent weekly challenge, to see more contributions please click here….


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20 Comments Add yours

  1. Timothy Price says:

    I like Thursday’s Doors on Friday. Wonderful shots. Door at the end of passageways are irresistible, and I never get tired of seeing them. The shutters above the arch are really nice as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Timothy! It is a particularly inviting tunnel, impossible not to be curious and follow to the end!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it, Jane, and the fact that the place will continue with new, younger blood.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Janet! It is good that it is still used, I think it’s quite a centre for the local diocese too.


    1. Many thanks Sherry Lynn!


  3. jesh stg says:

    Love your second capture! I think the rest of us maybe so far removed from the monastic life nowadays that we think it has disappeared. Can’t even remember when the last time was I saw someone in a monk’s robe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you jesh stg! Yes you’re right, I’m not even sure if these monks wear habits, perhaps it’s all more modern these days.


  4. They sure don’t make doors and archways like this any more, more’s the shame!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Too true Sarah! Everything modern round here is modelled on either the shoebox or the breeze block! 😦


  5. Beautywhizz says:

    I like that door at the end of the tunnel as well. Great shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beautywhizz! I confess that little door was my favourite bit!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nadia says:

    So good to hear that there are some younger monks to keep things going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they certainly have some beautiful surroundings to contemplate Nadia!


  7. Handsome door with a lot of history behind it for sure. It’s interesting that the older monks are being replaced by other young men because over here there is definitely a shortage. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Judy! Yes I must admit I was most surprised, not sure if the modern monk is in revival or what, seems a curious thing for a young man to do these days though!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Norm 2.0 says:

    My goodness if that place could talk, what stories it would tell. What stood out for me was the uneven yet smoothly rounded-over stones on the ground in the tunnel; partly from erosion and partly from the wear of over a thousand years of footsteps. It just blows me away.
    Wonderful post Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Norm! Yes it would be amazing to know just how many people have walked down that tunnel in the last 1000 years, I’m sure each one of them has left a tiny trace somewhere!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. facetfully says:

    Beautifully intriguing again! Certainly it is hard to find such places in the US. Very thought-provoking too…the history, his-stories and deep thinking that must have occurred there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely facetfully, delighted that you were intrigued! It really is an incredibly old site, over 1000 years of stories here and there is nothing like a tunnel and a door at the end of it to pique our curiosity!

      Liked by 1 person

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