The Royaumont Abbey, France's Treasure: Background information when reading In Falling Snow

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In Falling Snow

by Mary-Rose MacColl

In Falling Snow
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  • Paperback:
    Aug 2013, 464 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
The Royaumont Abbey, France's Treasure

The Royaumont Abbey, where much of In Falling Snow is set, is located approximately 18 miles (30 kilometers) north of Paris in Val-d'Oise.

Dedicated in 1228 CE, the structure was commissioned by King Louis IX as a Cistercian abbey. The Cistercian order was established by a group of Benedictine monks in the Cîteaux Abbey around the year 1098. Their intent was to return to a strict observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict, and their order was known for its austerity and seclusion as well as a return to manual labor, particularly fieldwork. Cistercian architecture reflects these values, being simple and utilitarian and lacking adornment (elaborate architecture was considered a distraction). The abbeys are in remote valleys for isolation, and built, where possible, using smooth, pale stone. Royaumont remains a classic example of this type of architecture.

Construction of Royaumont Abbey was completed in 1235, and Louis IX visited often. It remains the final resting place of ...

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