Saturday, 6 August 2011

Silvacane Abbey

No matter how similar in style and structure the various abbeys and churches from the middle ages, they all have a different ambiance.  Silvacane Abbey, near La Rocque-d'Antheron, is no longer a religious establishment, but it retains a sombre and peaceful atmosphere.  In fact, I found it more restful than the Abbe Senanque because it was not swamped by tourists and there were no guides.  I was able to take it at my own pace and just soaked in the simplicity and harmony that was inherent in the architecture of the Cistercians.   You can see for yourself below.

The chapel was almost devoid of decoration, which made its architectural lines all the more striking.

An appropriately placed work of art added to the ambiance.

This is the entrance to the dormitory.

A dormitory very similar to the one at Senanque but more interesting because of the many windows.

The cloisters are stunning in their simplicity.

This is a window decorated with fingerprints!  A touch of contemporary art.

This would be a great place to do some Zen meditation.


  1. Your photos and commentary really bring back the tranquility and simplicity of this wonderful monastery. thanks!
    Bill Kimber

  2. Thanks, Bill. It's one of my favourite places.

  3. It was fun to walk through the Abbey with you. The architecture is so perfect it needs no adornment. The spaces are both simple and voluptuous.

  4. Thanks, John. I like that word - voluptuous!