Abbaye de Fontevraud, Fontevraud l'Abbaye
Tel: 33 2 41 51 73 52
Concierge.com's insider take:
This important Romanesque abbey, founded in 1101 under the patronage of the Plantagenets, was ruled by a series of royal abbesses. After an interlude as a prison from 1804 to 1963, Fontevraud has emerged rather over-restored and pristine, but it is well worth seeing for the light-filled church, where you'll find effigies of King Henry II of England, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart, and Isabelle of Angoulême (widow of King John of England). Also be sure to see the extraordinary 12th-century kitchen, with its conical roof and chimneys. The complex originally included four priories, one of which, Le Prieuré St. Lazare, now contains an excellent restaurant (33-2-41-51-73-16 , www.hotelfp-fontevraud.com, open late March through mid-November).
Open daily 10 am to 6 pm.