When I was visiting my friends in Versailles recently, they proposed an amazing visit to the spectacular gothic Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay. Located in the lush valley of Chevreuse, the sprawling abbey is awe inspiring. Started in 1118 it has had many incarnations, today it is a resort that makes for a magical Sunday outing.
During the later part of the 19th century the abbey was owned and restored by the Rothschilds. Then went to various owners until the late ’80’s when it was turned into a hotel.
In spite of the abbey being a ruin today, it is still very imposing.
I could have spent the entire day just in the soaring ruins of the abbey.
The poetic remains of the altar.
The beautiful and tranquil renaissance spring house.
The time worn sculpted columns. The abbey was once known for its miracle water.
Beneath the soaring arches of the former “lay brother dining hall” is the Prayer Table Restaurant. One of several on the property.
There is also an impressive collection of Henry Moore sculptures in the garden juxtaposed against the gothic buildings. The abbey is well worth the visit or better yet a stay, to take it all in.