The abbey was founded by Guillaume X of Poitou who donated it to the Cistercians in 1136. The abbey was prosperous until 1395. Subsequently, wars and looting followed one another. Major restoration work was carried out in the 18th century.
(Rental of reception rooms and accommodation. Throughout the year, the Abbaye de la Grâce-Dieu welcomes you in its authentic setting, located between Niort and La Rochelle. Weddings, baptisms, birthdays, banquets, seminars companies or training...)
In the Pays d'Aunis, there are only four ecclesiastical establishments to bear the title of Abbey: la Grâce-Dieu, Notre Dame de Ré, Saint Laurent des Chaumes and Notre Dame de Charron. All four were part of the Order of Cîteaux. The Monastery of Grace-God was the first that the Order of Cîteaux had in Aunis and Saint Bernard participated himself in its foundation.
In 1135, Guillaume, the Duke of Aquitaine renounced the schism of Anaclete after an audience with Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux. In 1136, in order to recall the Grace that God had given him to rescue him from the schism, the Duke of Aquitaine founded, near his castle of Benon, an Abbey which was called "Sainte Marie de la Grâce-Dieu", the Thank God.
The Abbey was burnt down in the 14th century (1395), during the Hundred Years War. It had time to recover from its ruins and restore the buildings to their great brilliance before the Wars of Religion.
During the civil and religious wars of the late 16th century, the Abbaye de la Grâce-Dieu was devastated and ruined by the Huguenots, like many ecclesiastical establishments in the country.
Throughout the 17th century, Father Elie Chevrauld and Father Morisset, his successor, restored the Abbey by recovering usurped property and rebuilding it. These restorations only took over the old buildings to make them habitable. A church was later built there. The first stone was laid on May 7, 1734. An abbey dwelling was also built "near" and joining the "religious cloisters". Thus during the 18th century a large part of the buildings of the Abbey were completely redone.
During the French Revolution, the Abbaye de la Grâce-Dieu and its assets were declared national assets and then auctioned off. Nowadays, it looks like an 18th century building, however it has retained vestiges of earlier times such as the treasure room, the vaulted apartments, the 17th century chapter house and the bedside wall backing onto the current buildings. . This is pierced by two beautiful niches, vaulted in the back of an oven, decorated on the key and each surmounting a small door. Near these doors, one can notice in the wall a small stoup.
Remains of the chapter house, facades and roofs of the large building: registration by decree of March 5, 1965
Large East-West oriented building, abbey house, dovecote: registration by decree of September 21, 1990
All year, every day.Pet Friendly
Not disclosedSpoken languages