Saint-Pierre de Montmajour Abbey (Abbaye de Montmajour) is a Benedictine abbey founded in 9481 about four kilometers northeast of the historic center of Arles in the Bouches-du-Rhône department in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (France). From the end of the 10th century, it became one of the richest abbeys in Provence and the monastery developed, between the 11th century and the beginning of the 18th century, with the construction of a series of religious and military buildings. Abandoned at the end of the 18th century, then heavily degraded after the Revolution, this architectural ensemble was classified as a historic monument in the 1840 list, with the annexed buildings being classified in 1921.

The painter Vincent van Gogh, who lived in nearby Arles, frequently painted and drew the Abbey and the landscape around it. In a letter to his brother in July 1888, he said he had been at Montmajour at least fifty times “to see the view over the plain.” He wrote on July 5, 1888: “Yesterday, at sunset, I was on a stony heath, where very small, twisted oaks grow, in the background a ruin on the hill, and wheat fields in the valley. it was romantic, and couldn’t be more so.”

A painting that van Gogh had done on July 4, 1888, Sunset at Montmajour, long considered a fake, was authenticated and placed on display in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in September 2013.

Address: Rte de Fontvieille, 13280 Arles, France


Friday 10 AM–5 PM
Saturday 10 AM–5 PM
Sunday 10 AM–5 PM
Monday 10 AM–5 PM
Tuesday 10 AM–5 PM
Wednesday 10 AM–5 PM
Thursday 10 AM–5 PM

Architect: Pierre II Mignard
Architectural style: Romanesque architecture
Established: 949

How to get to?

From Paris: 7 hr 18 min (746 km) via A6 and A7

From Toulouse: 3 hr 11 min (317 km) via A61 and A9

From Marseille: 1 hr 19 min (92.8 km) via A7 and A54

From Monaco: 3 hr 10 min (273 km) via A8

From Andorra: 5 hr (406 km) via A9

From Madrid: 9 hr 54 min (1,021 km) via A-2

From Moscow: 34 hr (3,257 km) via E30/M1

From Belgrade: 15 hr 43 min (1,576 km) via E70

From Istanbul: 26 hr (2,525 km) via E70

From Bern: 5 hr 48 min (589 km) via A1

See also France travel guide

See also Spain travel guide

See also Pyrenees travel guide

See also Andorra travel guide

Read more: Interesting places in the Pyrenees and around with Jane Cautch ...