The Valley of the Loire... and the Lion

This monastery was founded in the year 1101 by Robert d'Arbrissel.  His order is exceptional in that its founder was never canonized as a saint of the Catholic faith.  There's a story there, but you'll have to ask your 2005 Vendťen.  The other exceptional thing about his order is that he put women above men in rule of the abbey.  That's perhaps one reason this was the favorite abbey of my favorite queen, Eleanore of Aquitaine.  Since, after her divorce with the king of France, she married a PlantagenÍt, this is now that families "Saint-Denis".  Here we see the tombs of Eleanor, Henry II PlantagenÍt, Richard the Lion-Hearted, and Isabella of AngoulÍme (the wife of Richard's brother and unhappy successor, King John).  From what we hear, Tony Blair wants these tombs back so he can put them in Westminster Abbey.  I'm guessing that these days, Jacques Chirac is not likely to cooperate -- nor would any ruler of France, since these kings, princes, and queens ruled over Britannia, but they lived right here whenever they could.



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This page last updated on 2005-06-20 5:02:07 PM.