Did you know ? Located a few minutes from Villefranche de Rouergue, the Loc Dieu abbey housed the Mona Lisa in 1940.

Loc Dieu: the fortified abbey with an incredible past

Abbeys are full of surprises. Three breaths from Villefranche-de-Rouergue and the majestic Chartreuse Saint-Sauveur, we head off to discover Loc Dieu, the fortified abbey which housed the Mona Lisa in 1940. In the setting of its romantic park, it still vibrates with this incredible episode.

A little away from the main roads of the Middle Ages, at the bottom of the valley, the most secret of the Cistercian abbeys has always been a refuge of peace. Named Place de Dieu, Loc Dieu, the abbey was burned down during the Hundred Years' War. Rebuilt and fortified over the centuries by Cistercian monks, it was completely restored and safeguarded, just like the Najac fortress, the Cibiel family who bought it in 1812.

Garden of Loc-Dieu Abbey

The Mona Lisa in exile at Loc Dieu

In 1940, a native of Villefranche-de-Rouergue, head guard at the Louvre, whispers his name to curators looking for a safe shelter for the collections. An incredible epic begins. In the midst of an exodus, the enormous trucks of the Comédie-Française transport thousands of works of sometimes impressive dimensions, such as The wedding of Cana of Veronese and its ten meters by seven. The most precious of these treasures, The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, was entitled to a
private car.

The paintings will remain stored in Loc Dieu for some time after a stop in Chambord. But the episode and its adventures still haunt this extraordinary place...

Loc-Dieu Abbey: a place to visit

The pure lines of its abbey, its Gothic cloister... The architectural treasures of the abbey are worth a visit before getting lost in the aisles of the romantic park designed by Jean Darcel, one of the architects of Buttes Chaumont.

This charming place, with exceptional acoustics, attracts renowned musicians who regularly give concerts there.

Art lovers can continue to another abbey, Beaulieu-en-Rouergue, to discover the Brache-Bonnefoi collection, composed of the biggest names in modern art, from the 1950s to today.

Prepare your visit

Opening hours from May 13 to June 30, 2024
Wednesday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Thursday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Friday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Saturday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Sunday Open from 14 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Opening hours from July 01 to August 31, 2024
Monday Open from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Tuesday Open from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Wednesday Open from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Thursday Open from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Friday Open from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Sunday Open from 14 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Opening hours from September 01 to September 30, 2024
Wednesday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Thursday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Friday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Saturday Open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 18 p.m.
Sunday Open from 14 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Opening hours from October 01 to November 03, 2024
Wednesday Open from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 17:30 p.m.
Thursday Open from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 17:30 p.m.
Friday Open from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 17:30 p.m.
Saturday Open from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m. and from 14 p.m. to 17:30 p.m.
Sunday Open from 14 p.m. to 17:30 p.m.
Prices Min. Max.
Individual adult
7 € -
Individual child
5.5 € -
General public group
5.5 € -
  • Parking
  • Coach parking
  • Toilets
  • Picnic area.
  • Access for disabled
  • Service – Partly outside and partly covered
  • Shop
  • Guided group tours
  • Guided tours
Firm. Opens at 14:00 p.m.
Calculate my route

Marion

About Marion

100% Aveyronnaise, I love exploring the Bastides and Gorges of Aveyron to enjoy new landscapes throughout the seasons...
Hikes, visits to monuments and charming villages, events and outings with friends... I'm never bored in this pretty corner of Aveyron!

Was this content useful to you?