In the southern Landes, in the Pays d’Orthe et Arrigans, the village of Sorde-l’Abbaye has kept its rich heritage, a rarity in Aquitaine. Its fame is mainly due to its Benedictine abbey, founded at the end of the 10th century on the banks of the Gave d’Oloron river. This remarkable architectural ensemble overlooks a natural setting that is now protected.
The Abbey of Saint-Jean (St. John’s) is listed as an Historic Monument and has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List as part of the Pilgrim’s Route in France to Santiago de Compostela.
Discover the three heritage sites that are part of the abbey:
- The abbey church: the tympanum, decorative capitals, Romanesque period mosaics and an impressive 18th century marble high altar are some of the most interesting works. A miniature model shows what the abbey looked like before it was last destroyed. Now a parish church, it is open to the public..
- The monastery buildings rebuilt at the end of the 17th century. They are open to the public from March to November: heritage tours, contemporary design, exhibits and cultural programs.
- The abbot’s residence from the 14th and 15th centuries: the home of the patron abbot was built on the remains of a Roman villa (3rd- 6th centuries). Currently being restored, the building is open to the public during the National Archaeology Days and European Heritage Days: tour of the thermal baths and ancient mosaics.