When the Revolution came, the Abbey was confiscated by the Republic as property of the state (the nation). It was soon converted to a prison -- the darkest years of Fontevraud came unde Napoleon and lasted until the 1960's. The last abbess escaped the Revolution (and the guillotine) through these tunnels underneath. Some prisoners later also tried this route, but only one succeeded. That's a long story in itself.
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Date: 6/29/09 11:02 AM