This Video Will Move You, We Promise: The Avid Cruiser Takes On Le Thoronet Abbey

Visiting L’abbaye du Thoronet (Le Thoronet Abbey) was a moving experience for us when we visited in September.

Traveling in the Le Var region of southern France this past September (branded as Var Provence), I did a shore excursion with one peculiarity: No cruise line yet offers it.

I suspect some soon will, however. Yes, it’s true, one of the abbey’s highlights is yet another church, which many tourists traveling Europe have seen all too many of, but this church is something special, even to a jaded traveler like me.

The acoustics, as you will hear in the accompanying video, are remarkable — and spiritually moving.

Situated in a secluded wooded region between the towns of Draguignan and Brignoles, Le Thoronet Abbey is one of three Cistercian abbeys in Provence and one of the best examples of the Cistercian order. The monks lived an austere life, and even the church acoustics imposed a certain discipline upon them, as the stone walls created long echoes, forcing the monks to sing slowly and perfectly together.

Built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and now restored as a museum, Le Thoronet Abbey is an exceptional example of spirituality and philosophy transformed into an architectural marvel. Check out the video and let us know if you think cruise lines should be offering this as a shore excursion in the south of France.

Inside the church at Le Thoronet Abbey, where the acoustics are remarkable.

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  • Deuce McKenna

    What a fine series of videos of France – in areas not typically visited by cruise passengers. Beautifully done and meaningfully presented. (But don’t judge by the stars on the discussion – couldn’t figure how they system works!