Situation map of the Abbey


1 – History trail through the vaulted 18th century rooms with a repeating video of the history of Saint-André accompanied by an exhibit of historical plans and photographs.

2 – The abbatial palace – entrance courtyard : jewel of the 17th and 18th century architecture. The garden level hosts temporary exhibitions.
3 – The Italian garden designed in Tuscan Renaissance style with ponds, sculptures, pergola…
4 – Vaults from the 18th century supporting the terrace. A unique view of the Popes’ Palace in Avignon.
5 – Lapidary Museum : exhibition of the Abbey carved stones ageing from the 12th to the 18th century.
6 – The terraces are offering exceptional views of the Pope’s Palace, the Dentelles de Montmirail, Mount Ventoux, and the Alpilles mountains.
7 – Churches and cemetery : remains of the 11th and 12th century churches and Early Middle Ages tombs.
8 – St. Casarie Chapel : 11th century Romanesque-style chapel erected above the cave where Sainte Casarie lived.
9 – Kitchen and infirmaries of the monks : remains of the Abbey build by the Saint Maur congregation.
10 – The olive grove

Tour 1 : The Gardens

At Garden Level : Visitors enter the 12th century vaulted rooms after seeing a video of the eventful history of the Abbey from the 6th century to the present and viewing an exhibit of historical plans and photographs explaining the many exciting facets of this ancient place. Passing through the former Abbey kitchen with its monumental fireplace and bread oven, visitors are immersed in the splendour of the monks’ 17th century renovations.  Vaulted gallery is dedicated to changing exhibitions of contemporary art. See program…

In the Gardens : Leaving the main courtyard, dominated by the majestic facade of the abbatial palace, visitors enter the Italian garden, which plays out in charming Tuscan style. Twin raised stone ponds, stone vases and carved stone sculptures harmonise with parterres of old roses bordered by a pergola covered with wisteria and Lady Banks roses. Further along, an arcade of impressive vaulted arches supports a huge terrace built in the 17th century and offers spectacular views of the Popes’ Palace and the surrounding Alpilles mountains. At terrace level, a path bordered by cypress and blue iris crosses a field of ancient olive trees, passing by the remains of the 11th and 12th century  churches and of the cemetery dating to the 6th through 10th centuries, and climbing up to the Romanesque chapel of St. Casarie from the 12th century. The path then enters a Mediterranean style garden, more secluded and very atmospheric, with clumps of cistus and coronillas dripping from drystone walls. It is a garden where one can happily lose oneself, hoping to discover a forgotten treasure.

Tour 2 : The Abbatial Palace

The monumental staircase climbs up behind the grand entry door and leads into a large hall giving access to the vaulted galleries. Redesigned by Pierre Mignard, King Louis XIV’s architect, they offer an exceptional succession of decorated ceilings. In one of them, a cycle of three paintings by Emile Bernard represents angels dancing and playing music. Many architectural surprises await, including huge pink marble columns, two beautiful arches rescued from the primitive cloister, and a multitude of objects and collectibles gathered by Roseline Bacou, Chief Curator of the Graphic Arts Department in the Louvre Museum, and owner of Saint-André until her death in 2013.

« Haute Couture » of the 1920s Exhibit
On the next floor there is a stunning exhibit of high fashion « Haute couture » of the 1920s and 1930s featuring sumptuous dresses, hats, handbags and shoes from couturiers including Paul Poiret, Jacques Doucet, Jeanne Lanvin and Maurice Babani. Special visit