Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Today I’m sharing an amazing adaptive reuse project located in France’s Loire Valley. Fontevraud L’Hotel is a restored thousand year old monastery that is a part of the Abbaye de Fontevraud, the largest Abbey in Europe and one of the largest surviving monastic cities from the middle ages. It was founded in 1101 as the ideal city – a place for work, prayer and reflection – and it has evolved over the years from its original mission to both a resting place for Richard the Lionheart and a prison under Napoleon. The Abbey was declared an historic monument in 1840, and a World Hertiage Site in 2000, so it is well worth visiting especially when you can stay at the Fontevraud L’Hotel. Completely re-imagined by architects Jouin Manku, every fixture and every piece of furniture was designed specifically for the hotel. I have often written about my appreciation for the juxtaposition between historic architecture and modern furnishings, or modern additions to historic structures, and Fontevraud L’Hotel is no exception. Not shying away from the modern, the hotel has even gone so far as to put in an iBar, where a huge digital library can be accessed. Oh, and did I mention that upon arrival each guest is provided with an iPad through which they can access hotel services and history about the Abbey? I am not sure which is the bigger draw, a visit to the Abbaye de Fontevraud and the tombs of Henry the 2nd, Richard the Lionheart, and Eleanor of Acquitaine, or a stay at Fontevraud L’Hotel. For more information on the Abbey and the Hotel, visit the Fontevraud website.
Lacquered Life • Olivia M. Brock