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Provence Ganagobie Abbey

Ganagobie Abbey (Abbaye Notre-Dame de Ganagobie) is Benedictine monastery sitting on a hill above the Durance valley. This hilltop has been occupied since prehistoric times (Bronze Age, 2000BC). You can visit the small Romanesque church, built in the 12th century but the rest of the Abbey is private. The entrance to the church has detailed religious carvings. Inside the church is a two-color mosaic floor from 1124. There are good views from here and walking trails.

The setting of Ganagobie Abbey is spectacular with views over Haute-Provence and the Durance valley. The woods and fields surrounding the abbey are lovely. The church is small but very beautiful. The mosaics are outstanding. If you are in the area I recommend a visit to this special place, but make sure you visit in the afternoon. I read somewhere that it was open in the morning, so we went then and we could not get into the church to see the mosaics. We did get to listen to the chanting. We were staying nearby so we returned another day to see the mosaics.
Location: France - Provence - Alpes-de-Haute-Provence - Ganagobie
Get to the abbey from the D4096 (signed). It is a 10 minute drive up a steep and narrow, but paved, road to the top of the hill. There is a large parking lot. It is a 15 minute walk (easy) to the abbey.

Website: Ganagobie Abbey

Hours: Visiting hours for the church: 3pm - 5pm, closed Monday.

Chanting: This is an active religious order. The Benedictine monks do regular chants throughout the day and visitors are welcome to stay and listen even if it is not during the church visiting hours. However, you can only look at the mosaics during visiting hours.
Chants: 5am (Vigites), 7am (Laudes), 9am (10am Sunday) (Messe), 12pm (Sexte), 1:30pm (None), 5:30pm (Vepres), 8pm (Complies).

Close to the parking lot, there is a very good shop where they sell books and herbal potions made at the abbey.

There are nice walking trails up here, but avoid the trail to the town of Ganagobie because it turns into a hot and dusty forest road (we gave up half way there). The nicer walks were in the woods at the top of the hill. We walked to Ville Vieille, the remains of an old village.

We visited Ganagobie when we spent a week in Haute Provence. You can easily get here from the Luberon for a day trip.

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Ganagobie Abbey.

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Beautiful two-color mosaic floor from 1124.

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