The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud (Abbaye de Fontevraud), founded in the 12th century, was both a nunnery and monastery. The abbey was popular with the wealthy Plantagenets, including Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. For centuries the abbey was an important cultural center and home to royal daughters.
The abbey church has lovely stained glass windows and impressive Gothic architecture. In the abbey chapel are buried Henry II of England
and Eleanor of Aquitaine
, along with their son Richard the Lionheart.
The tomb effigies are stunning - Eleanor looks like she's reading a book in bed, Henry II seems to be taking a restful snooze, and Richard the Lion-Heart looks especially kingly, holding a scepter in respose.
Don't miss the other buildings, for a glimpse of life in a medieval abbey - a well-preserved spacious kitchen (a big kitchen to handle large numbers of people in the monastery), as well as cloisters, chapter house and large dining hall, and lovely gardens.
There's a Sound and Light show in the evening and Gregorian chant concerts in the summer.