To build a few kilometers from Arles townhouse and montmajour Abbey, in the X century Benedictine monks had to drain the marshes. The land on which the monastery was built was donated to the order of a noble lady, and 948 year saw the tab.
The monastery was widely known among the pilgrims who came to the townhouse and montmajour in order to atone for their sins by making a donation in favour of the order. At the end of X century townhouse and montmajour became one of the wealthiest abbeys of Provence and remained so until the eighteenth century. Since the XI century in the vaults of the monastery found a last refuge olive graphs.
Externally, the monastery built on a hill, more like a fortress, so powerful look of its construction. In the XIV century the appearance of the Abbey added with an impressive wall designed to protect the brothers Benedictines from the encroachments of hired soldiers. At the end of the XVI century, during the religious wars, thick walls did not help the monks were evicted soldiers and themselves brothers two years lived in Arles.
The last Abbot of the Abbey (the second half of XVIII century) was the cardinal de Rohan, the participant scandalous episode with the purchase of a fabulously expensive diamond necklaces on behalf of the Queen Marie-Antoinette, the history of this Scam was described in one of the novels of Alexandre Dumas. Himself de Rohan, who wanted to Woo the Queen, was used by speculators and then punished by the king.
In the years of the great French revolution, the Abbey was nationalized and sold. Dilapidated buildings of the monastery were purchased closer to the middle of the next century.
Today in the ensemble of the Abbey you can see the chapel, guard tower, a building in the classical style and the earlier construction. To the days of the founding of the Abbey is the underground chapel of St Pierre, a century later was built the Church of our lady. Just in the distance lies the chapel of the Holy cross, built in the XII century for pilgrims.
Today the Abbey is protected by UNESCO as a monument of history. When the Abbey is an art gallery, where exhibitions of paintings by van Gogh and other famous painters.