Abbaye Notre-Dame des Chateliers

There remains practically nothing of the old convent buildings, several times destroyed and finally dismantled in the XVIIth century to build the fort of Pree. Based on the ile de Re in the Charente-Maritime (Dept 17).

The abbey has a rather animated history, and an end comparable with good number of other religious establishments in the area. It was founded in the year 1150 by a group of monks cistercians and their abbot, after agreement of the local lord (Elba de Mauleon). At the end of 1166, Isaac, abbot of Star (Chatellerault), having taken party for the archbishop Thomas Becket, must take refuge there for seven months.

The buildings are established on the current site, near a fortified town which will be then demolished. The monastery then little by little will take its rise and will control the major part of the grounds of the island. The current ruins date however only from the XIVth century. Indeed, the abbey is destroyed first once in 1294 by an English fleet, then rebuilt. It again is partially destroyed twice during the One hundred Year War: in 1388, then again in 1462. This time the damage was more serious and involved a general repair, in particular of the abbey church Notre-Dame.

Lastly, in 1574, during the Wars of religion, Huguenots devastate the buildings which are then given up by the monks cistercians. In 1625 part of the stones of the monastery then will be used for construction of the fort of very close Pree. What will remain is placed under the jurisdiction of Oratoriens, which transforms the old abbey and dedicate it to the St. Lawrence, statute which it will preserve until 1793.


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