Abbey of Saint-Pierre de Solesmes This beautiful and historic place in Solesmes, France, is an ancient monastery — more than 1,000 years old — in a privileged location. Set right along the Sarthe River, it has impressive walkways putting visitors in contact with nature, as well as with spectacular sights. The place is only 160 miles from Paris, which makes it a very convenient spot if you’d like to visit the City of Light. Abbey of Saint Pierre de Solesmes The monastery is home to about 80 Benedictine monks known for their beautiful Gregorian chants, which are part of the experience visitors can have. It’s possible to attend the daily prayer where the community joins in the inspiring chant. Aside from the moments of chanting, silence is key in this monastic retreat, which gives visitors a chance to fully step away from distractions and focus on prayer, reflection, and peace. Guests are invited to join the daily schedule, which includes reading, reflection, personal prayer, physical activities, liturgical prayer and Mass attendance. Hospitality is a core value for Benedictine monks. The monastery has a guesthouse where each male guest is provided a single room with a sink, sheets and towels. There’s also a chance for men to stay within the monastic enclosure. The guesthouse has a library, a reading room and a small garden; meals are taken with the monks. For women and families there are small houses in Solesmes village, very near the abbey, which include several bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. Guests can stay here from one to seven days and during this time they can organize their own retreat path or they can have the help of a monk to achieve their objectives. Confession can also be requested.