Cité de Sorèze
Be prepared for a few surprises!
Share in the adventure and discover a place rich in art, knowledge and nature.
A short history...
... A prestigious past
This Benedictine abbey at the foot of the Montagne Noire was founded in 754, but it owes its reputation to the innovative teaching methods introduced in the 17th century and used until the school closed in 1991.
The establishment became so renowned that it was turned into a royal military school under Louis XVI, and it welcomed students from all four corners of the world. For much of the 19th century, it was directed by the famous French ecclesiastic and theologian, R.P. Lacordaire.
Do not miss this historic site!
The Abbey-School of Sorèze has long been a place where art, knowledge and nature combine. Today, it is a centre for culture and tourism, hosting events such as the Musiques des Lumières festival, temporary exhibitions, scientific symposia, European Heritage Days, the Night of the Museums. It has been awarded several national accolades including Great Sites of Occitanie, a place dedicated to preserving the memory of illustrious people and an attraction suitable for all the family.
Wander through the buildings of the school museum and discover the establishment in its heyday during the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn about daily life as a boarder, and the teaching methods which were revolutionary for their day.
As for the Dom Robert Museum, you will discover how a tapestry is created – from its initial design to the final work of art – and you will learn about Aubusson tapestry techniques which were inscribed in 2009 on UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Dom Robert (1907-1997) was a Benedictine monk from the Abbey of En Calcat, a few kilometres north of Sorèze at Dourgne. He is recognised as one of the leading tapestry-makers of the 20th century. His rich and varied output was always colourful, frequently inspired by nature, and often celebrates the flora and fauna of the Montagne Noire.
Isabelle Arnaud Dardy
Former pupil of the school and guide at the Abbey-school
I have been working here as a guide for eighteen years, sharing with visitors my enthusiasm for the school where I was once a student.
The Abbey-School is a place filled with emotion where each of us can look back on our schooldays with nostalgia.
Since 2015, the artworks of Dom Robert have brought poetry and colour to this great old school where the Fine Arts helped the children blossom.
The hall of the busts
This room is emblematic of the school’s history, traditions and values: its walls are lined with the busts of fifty-two former pupils who went on to enjoy illustrious careers.
The gallery of giant artworks
This imaginative space created on two storeys allows the visitor to view the monumental tapestries of Dom Robert from several different perspectives.
At hte end of your visit you will be able to find various products and vintage items for sale in the museum shop.
Some dates for your diary!
The Musiques des Lumières festival is held each July under the artistic direction of the conductor Joël Suhubiette. Since its creation, the festival has aimed to present a wide range of music suitable for regular concert goers and newcomers alike.
By offering their audience a range of musical styles – including baroque, symphonic and opera – the artists ensure the festival’s success.
Playing with wool and bits of string
Since October 2015, the Abbey-School of Sorèze organises creative workshops for children during the school holidays. Activities include making coasters, jewellery, pencil boxes, tealights, flowers and dreamcatchers…and the children learn to work with wool and fabric using techniques such as weaving, spool knitting, round weave…and always using as much recycled material as possible.
Today the park hosts many events such as the dog festival and the horse fair.
The 6-hectare Abbey-School Park was the students' playground. They entertained, worked or slept in the shade of century-old trees for the most part.
It was a place to relax.