The Pays de la Loire has become almost inextricably linked in people's minds with the many Renaissance châteaux of the Loire Valley. But the region's attractions don't stop there. It has Angers Castle with the incredible tapestry of the Apocalypse, the astonishingly inventive Machines de l'Île project in Nantes, the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud and its sublime Romanesque architecture, and not forgetting the Puy du Fou medieval theme park and its historical shows, the like of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. However the Loire River itself, always changing in mood and colour, offers an ongoing spectacle and a stream of leisure activities: cruises on traditional boats on the river, boat trips through the wetlands of the Marais Poitevin or seeing the flora and fauna. It has to be said, in these parts the gardens are an art form that reaches levels of excellence, from the Jardin de la Source to the former priory, Prieuré de St-Cosme. The region also boasts strong gastronomical traditions, with the wines of the Loire, freshwater fish, game and its delicious goats' cheeses!
How might a thousand-year-old religious institution be given a new lease of life within today’s very secular society? The solution for revitalising such historic monuments generally consists of organising contemporary art exhibitions on-site. While the Abbaye de Fontevraud is no exception to the rule, its project is far more ambitious and multidisciplinary, with an eye to reviving the original, utopian vision of the ‘ideal city’.