Cistercian Haven: Sénanque Abbey
Sénanque Abbey is a Cistercian abbey near the village of Gordes in Provence, France. It was founded in 1148 by a young community of Cistercians who, with the support of patrons, built the abbey church, consecrated in 1178.
The Abbey reached a high point in the 13th and 14th centuries, operating four mills, seven granges (like a fancy barn on an estate used for food production) and possessing large estates in Provence.
However by the time of the French Revolution it had declined (only one monk remained) and was subsequently seized and sold to a private individual.
The site was repurchased in 1854 for a new community of Cistercian monks of the Immaculate Conception, under a rule less stringent than that of the Trappists. The community was expelled in 1903 and moved to the island of St Honorat.
In 1988 a small community returned and remain there today where they grow lavender and tend honey bees for their livelihood. People can now arrange to stay at the Abbey for spiritual retreats. (Adapted from Wikipedia)