The history of this unique site goes back to the 6th century. The Abbey is located atop the hill known as MontAndaon and now lies within the impressive Saint André fortress, known as the Fort Saint-André. The Benedictine and royal abbey overlooks the Rhone river valley and faces Avignon on the other bank of the Rhone. The abbey was founded in the 10th century but its origins go back to Saint Casarie, a saint and a hermit who lived in a grotto at the top of the hill. The gardens and terraces, laid out in the Tuscany Renaissance and Mediterranean style, are among the most beautiful gardens in France. They include vestiges of Romanesque churches and tombs from the Middle Ages, roses, Mediterranean vegetation, and centuries-old pine and olive trees. The terraces afford magnificent views over the Palace of the Popes, the Alpilles, the Luberon, Mont Ventoux and the Dentelles de Montmirail. The Abbatial home, redesigned by Pierre Mignard, architect to King Louis XIV, reflects the splendour and the elegance of the 17th and 18th centuries. Here one easily feels the significanat past history that has contributed to the harmonious, powerful sense present here, so conducive to one's imagination.
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