France, Dame Abbey
The heyday of the female abbey in the city of Saint fell on the twelfth century, when the monastery was patronized by Eleonora of Aquitaine, queen of France and England. In the XIV century, the abbey passed under the direct control of the king of France, at this time the country was ruled by Charles V the Wise. The Convent in St. Catherine retained its significant position in the religious life of France until the French Revolution.
The founder of the Dame Abbey in Saint became in the middle of the XI century Geoffroy Martel, Count of Anjou and his wife Agnessa of Burgundy. For the construction of the monastery was determined a plot of land next to the funeral church of St. Palladium. The Saint-Pallet temple is now located next to the buildings of the abbey, and the street on which it is located is also called Saint-Pallet.
The consecration of the monastery was held very solemnly in the presence of the heads of several neighboring dioceses, and the ceremony was held by the Archbishop of Bordeaux. The convent was generously endowed with property rights and certain privileges that allowed her to live and not to live in misery.
The first monastery church was built at the same time and was consecrated in the fall of 1047. At first, it bore the name of the Church of Our Lady beyond the walls, since the abbey was located outside the city limits, on the other bank of the Charente River. In the XII century, the reconstruction of the church.
In the XVI and XVII centuries in the life of a prosperous abbey began a strip of trouble and damage that caused the Huguenots during the period of religious wars, and then fires. Therefore, the buildings of the monastery are preserved in the guise that was returned to them after reconstruction in the second half of the XVII century.
Dame Abbey in Cents became the first female abode in the Sentonges area, and after centuries it was recognized as an outstanding example of the local variety of the Romanesque style in architecture. Currently, the monastery is a cultural center, it houses a museum dedicated to the history of Saintonge. In addition, every summer there is a festival of classical music.