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…………
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