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The Abbey of Noirlac



L'Abbaye de Noirlac

40 km south of Bourges, the abbey of Noirlac is a beautiful historical monument whose visit is one of the highlights of a stay in the Berry.
It is easily accessible from a hotel in Chateauroux, a hotel in Issoudun or a hotel in Bourges.

From your hotel in Issoudun: explore the Cistercian architectural purity

Founded in the 12th century by a small group of Cistercian monks from Burgundy, the abbey of Noirlac has a typical Cistercian architecture. It is based on the spiritual principles of this monastic order, and responds in particular to the requirements of asceticism. The stripping of forms, their purity and their simplicity have been conceived in the service of the spirituality of the monks, so that they can attain inner peace.

The choice of the site on which the abbey was built also corresponds to a Cistercian rule: the monks had settled in this remote and secluded place to be fully attentive to the word of God. They sought to reconnect with the rigor of the "fathers of the desert", the first Christian hermits in the East.
Like the abbey of Cîteaux, the founding abbey of the Cistercian order, the monastery was built on land that was at the time marshy, to put the land in value.

The Cistercians gave great value to manual work, and it was provided by the lay brothers (also called convers). They occupied a part of the abbey strictly separated from that of the monks, who for their part devoted themselves mainly to the liturgy and the study. The main buildings are organized around the cloister, which separates the two parts of the abbey.


Your stay in Berry: discover one of the best preserved abbeys

After being a monastery for more than six centuries, the Abbey of Noirlac is secularized and sold as a national asset during the French Revolution. She will then know several lives: porcelain factory in the nineteenth century, it is finally purchased by the Cher department in 1909. It will briefly be a summer camp, then serve as refugee camps for the Spanish fleeing the civil war, and annex to the hospice of Saint-Amand-Montrond during the second world war. It will then benefit from extensive renovation work, before being open to the public.

If all these assignments could have caused damage to the original buildings, it is paradoxically thanks to them that the abbey of Noirlac is today one of the best preserved. The buildings never had long periods of vacancy, so they were maintained, escaping the decay of time.

The abbey of Noirlac is open to the public from February to December. You can opt for a free visit or a guided tour, and the abbey offers tours for groups of more than twelve people at discounted rates.
It organizes cultural events (temporary exhibitions, concerts, meetings ...) that you can combine with local events that we do not fail to talk to you!

A true jewel of Cistercian architecture, Noirlac Abbey is a monument not to be missed during a visit to Berry.
To book your hotel in Chateauroux, your hotel in Issoudun or your hotel in Bourges and to prepare your stay, contact us!

services and benefits


  • 2h from Paris
  • Downtown
  • Quiet and peacefull environement
  • Seminars
  • First Hotel in department
  • Private park of 3 hectares