Abbaye Royale du Bois-Aubry
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The resting place of a famous Hollywood actor, Yul Brynner, and much else besides…

The Royal Abbey Saint-Michel Bois-Aubry

Art, culture and tranquillity are the characteristics of this little-known spot, which is well worth a visit. If you want to experience the silence of a hermit and take a break from hectic daily life, I recommend taking a few steps off the Loire Châteaux route and finding refuge not far from Luzé (between Richelieu and Sainte-Maure de Touraine). This remote abbey is open for visits and also has two gîtes with a swimming pool.
An original place for you to stay off the beaten track.

You will be welcomed by Mr Gribomont, a great enthusiast about history, art and his Abbey, which he knows down to the smallest details (set aside two full hours for a guided visit in his company – you won’t be disappointed!). After a multi-facetted career working as a criminologist and in European institutions, he completely changed his way of life and now devotes his time to restoring and developing the Abbey.

From the hermitage to the priory : the Royal Abbey

The abbey’s history begins in the early 12th century, when a hermit by the name of Robert, together with his two disciples, settled in the locality of Boscus Alberici (which later
became Bois-Aubry!) and founded an oratory dedicated to St Michael. Thanks to regular donations from a rich lord seeking to have his sins forgiven, the hermitage grew into a priory and became an abbey in 1138. The abbey belonged to a little-known religious order that no longer exists, the Tironensians. This was a strict religious order applying the rule of Saint
Benedict. Its fundamental principles were poverty, austerity, humility, chastity, living in a community, reading, work and prayer.
You might have heard of Thiron-Gardais Abbey, in the Perche region, with its spire rising next to a famous royal military school purchased by the French TV personality Stéphane Bern. This is the mother abbey of the Tironensian Order. It was founded in 1114 by Saint Bernard of Abbeville. The order had some 20 abbeys and around 100 priories in France, England, Scotland and Ireland!

For a guided or non-guided visit (along a visiting circuit), you can explore the rich history of the abbey vestiges…

All roads lead to Bois-Aubry!

Whether you are a pilgrim on the Way of St James or a fan of cultural trails, you may well soon come across the Way of the Abbey Saint-Michel Bois-Aubry. Mr Gribomont has plenty of projects in mind and wants to develop the little-known site by including it in several cultural trails: the Order of Tiron, the Way of St James, the Charlemagne Way, Les Chemins de Saint-Michel, the Via Regia

And what does Yul Brynner have to do with all this?

What a surprise to learn that at the rear of the park in this out-of-the-way place is the grave of the most charismatic and seductive bald Hollywood actor, Yul Brynner!
You have probably seen one of his 42 films, such as The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, Anastasia, Taras Bulba, Villa Rides or The King and I!
When you visit the small museum dedicated to him at the abbey you can find out more about his life and incredible career. But how did the ashes of the American actor come to be in the earth of Touraine, you may be asking?! For a short time (1978-2006), the abbey belonged to the Orthodox Church, before it was bought by Mr Gribomont.
Yul Brynner, who was of the Orthodox faith and who loved France, naturally found his last resting place in the Abbey’s private cemetery…

If you find the place inspiring, then why not stay here?

Along with the abbey, the site has two 4-star gîtes with the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional nature park label, as well as a heated swimming pool.

 

Culture & patrimoine
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Abbaye Royale Saint Michel de Bois-Aubry 1
Historical sites and monuments

Royal Abbey of Saint-Michel de Bois-Aubry

LUZE
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