Deep in its Provençal valley, the Abbey of Sénanque, which has been a Cistercian monastery since 1148, is one of the purest examples of primitive Cistercian architecture.
In the 12th-century the monks took possession of a valley which perfectly met the demands of the Cistercian order, which specified that monasteries could not be built in towns, villages or near rural houses. The natural surroundings provided all the materials necessary for their lifestyle and the abbey’s construction.
As in the 12th-century, it is still inhabited by a community of Cistercian monks following the rule of Saint Benedict. The abbey opens up to visitors, offering an insight into their lifestyle and revealing the architectural features of the ancient dormitory, the cloister and the chapter house.