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The royal abbey of Fontevraud, located on the borders of the three provinces of Poitou, Anjou and Touraine, is one of the largest monastic cities inherited from the Middle Ages. Listed as a historical monument since 1840, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 along with the entire Loire Valley. An abbess directed the abbey, which sheltered women and men distributed among the four priories. The recumbent statues of Aliénor (Eleanor) of Aquitaine, her husband King Henry II Plantagenêt and their son Richard Coeur de Lion (the Lionheart), on view in the abbey church, recall the abbey’s connection to royalty.

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