Before we headed off to our friends’ place, we visited the Abbaye de Daoulas which is about 900 years old. It is a former abbey of the Order of St Augustine located on top of a hill in the town of Daoulas, in the department of Finistere in Bretagne, France. It has been classified as one of the historical monuments in France since July 12, 1886.
The buildings inside the Abbey of Daoulas are exceptional witnesses of art in Bretagne from the Roman era to present day. Today, the old abbey is divided into a church, a cemetery, a cultural site, a school, and a garden.
After we parked our car, we entered into the “House of the 18th century” which is the current headquarters of the offices of the association where to purchase the entrance tickets.
As we got into the inner courtyard, we were greeted by a gorgeous gigantic old cedar tree. We couldn’t help ourselves, spent some time there and took some photos.
Then we ambled to the charming cloister with 44 pilars that was built in the last quarter of the 12th century. We have learned that it is the best preserved cloister in Bretagne. We also saw a basin that is octagonal in shape, and was built in the 12th century in the inner garden of the cloister. In this area, Christian monks used to spend a quiet time for meditation. Truly captivating!
From the cloister we hiked up to the garden. Oh, it’s so pretty and alluring there. We have learned that it contains 650 species of medicinal plants and herbs. We love the serenity of the place, the dazzling colors of the flowers, enjoy seeing the beautiful bees flying, incredible insects crawling, and bewitching butterflies hopping from flowers to flowers, and the enchanting pungent smell from the different herbs. Alan even told me, “Such as shame that the camera can’t capture all the nice smells.”
The first time that I got intrigued with an herb garden was when I read a book “Once in a Lifetime” by Cathy Kelly sometime last year. Now that I’ve seen such a gorgeous garden, I really want to have one.
After spending about an hour in the garden, we walked down to Notre-Dame-des-Fontaines, built in 1550 in Gothic style. Long ago, it was used for great devotion. At present it is surrounded by lofty trees and dense foliage.
We strolled further to the donkey stable located near the fountain, and kept walking to the exit of the office, and headed to the Romanesque Abbey (today it’s the parish church) that was built in the late 11th century. The old south porch became the entrance of the cemetery.
We spent about two hours there, and we enjoyed everything – the garden, the buildings, the history. Overall, it was well worth a visit, and whether you are a garden lover, a history lover or an old stones lover, this place is for you!