The Monastery

This monastery (pseudonym ‘Mont G’) was built in the early 20th century by a collective of Carmelites. About ten years after construction was completed the monastery was bought by another Roman Catholic congregation that turned it into a place for studying philosophy and trying novices. Circa 40 years later it became a retreat center, still ran by the same congregation. In 2001 the priests left for good and the town bought the complex. Many plans were made but none got off the ground.

The buildings are constructed around a square courtyard, with on one side a beautiful neogothic church with many hand-crafted details. Though the church is beautiful, the rest of the buildings are quite stale, consisting of long hallways with many small rooms on the side. Most of the buildings seem to have been modernised not too long before closure, and most of the original windows have been replaced by double pane windows in PVC frames. This keeps the elements outside effectively, as there isn’t much decay to be found. To me, decay is the main visually attractive aspect of these derelict buildings, so finding these very clean hallways was a bit of a bummer. I had a hard time taking good photos. The church, attic, basement and courtyard were enjoyable and kept me busy for a few hours.